BLOCK CHAIN TECHNOLOGY & AWARENESS PROGRAMS

The International Human Empowerment University “IHEU” - An International Educational Mission is offering a unique range of hands on training programs in the area of Block Chain.

A block chain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.

By design, a block chain is resistant to modification of the data. It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way". For use as a distributed ledger, a block chain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although block chain records are not unalterable, block chains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a block chain.

Block chain was invented by a person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the crypto currency bit coin. The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown. The invention of the block chain for bit coin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bit coin design has inspired other applications, and block chains that are readable by the public are widely used by crypto currencies. Block chain is considered a type of payment rail. Private block chains have been proposed for business use. Sources such as Computerworld called the marketing of such block chains without a proper security model "snake oil".

History:

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. They wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. In 1992, Haber, Stornetta, and Dave Bayer incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.

The first block chain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design in an important way using a Hashcash-like method to timestamp blocks without requiring them to be signed by a trusted party and introducing a difficulty parameter to stabilize rate with which blocks are added to the chain. The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the crypto currency bit coin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.

In August 2014, the bit coin block chain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20 GB (gigabytes). In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30 GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bit coin block chain grew from 50 GB to 100 GB in size. The ledger size had exceeded 200 GiB by early 2020.

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto's original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that block chains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase. Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Block chain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In May 2018, Gartner found that only 1% of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations, and only 8% of CIOs were in the short-term "planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain".

Structure:

A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger consisting of records called blocks that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved block cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively. A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed time stamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests. Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants' uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. A blockchain has been described as a value-exchange protocol. A blockchain can maintain title rights because, when properly set up to detail the exchange agreement, it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks:

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks. Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Block chains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low. For example, bit coin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.

Block time:

The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some block chains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. In crypto currency, this is practically when the transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions. The block time for Ethereum is set to between 14 and 15 seconds, while for bitcoin it is on average 10 minutes.

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