What is Blockchain in Simple Terms?
From a secure processing service to looking at it like a notebook, here are eight answers to the question, “How would you describe blockchain in the simplest of terms?”
- A Secure Way to Process Data
- An Unbreakable Data Chain
- A Decentralized Data Resource
- A Goodbye to Middlemen
- A Remarkable Mechanism for Transparency and Accountability
- A Very Advanced Spreadsheet.
- A Digital Ledger
- A Digital Notebook
A Secure Way to Process Data
There are many options for blockchain use. However, it’s most important to me how this new technology impacts the industry I work in, namely human resources. For HR, blockchain helps to simplify data and increase data security. It applies to all sectors, yet it has a significant impact on HR. New technologies like blockchain simplify how we process our candidates’ and employees’ data and help us do it securely.
Blockchain offers many opportunities to verify candidates’ qualifications, store employees’ data, and increase data protection for all the organization’s stakeholders. This new, innovative approach supports us in improving our data privacy practices and creating more trust among our employees and applicants. Blockchain helps us to ensure that people are not afraid to share information with us and can be sure that their data is protected.
Dorota Lysienia, Community Manager, LiveCareer
An Unbreakable Data Chain
Blockchain operates on a distributed ledger, giving every network participant equal access to the data rather than storing it on large servers. It’s creating a more fair, accessible internet with records that cannot be tampered with or deleted. Rather than replacing links in the chain with new information, we simply add more links onto the chain to “update” it.
Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO, Choice Mutual
A Decentralized Data Resource
Consider an accounting ledger book. If one person holds it and updates entries, they hold the power to write anything they want, no matter the accuracy of the information. If it gets stolen, there is no way to recover the information held in the book.
The same issues arise when we hold data on large, central servers. If they go down or are compromised by hackers, we lose access to the things we need.
With blockchain, that data is held in a distributed ledger across many small servers. Though we can add new blocks of data to the chain, none can be deleted. And if one source gets compromised, many others are holding the same data to fall back on. It creates a more secure, accessible, and accountable data resource.
Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert
A Goodbye to Middlemen
Think of blockchain as a digital ledger. It’s a way to keep track of transactions, but instead of being stored in one central location, it spreads the information out across a network of computers.
Let’s say you want to send some money to your friend in another country. Traditionally, this would involve going through a bank or payment processor, which can take time and incur fees.
With blockchain technology, you could send money directly to your friend’s digital wallet, and the transaction would be recorded on the blockchain network. There would be no need for a middleman, and the transaction would be completed almost instantly.
And the best part? Because the transaction is recorded on the blockchain, it is secure and tamper-proof. This means that a transaction can neither be changed nor reversed once it has been verified and recorded on the blockchain.
So, if you’re not paying attention to blockchain, you’re passing up one of the most exciting developments of our time.
Maria Harutyunyan, Co-founder, Loopex Digital
A Remarkable Mechanism for Transparency and Accountability
Blockchain technology should be thought of as a “distributed” ledger, instead of a “centralized” ledger, or record of exchange. Anyone, anywhere, can see the transactions that have occurred, instead of relying on an intermediary to provide this information.
For a theoretical example, my company’s credit card charges are only visible to me, my credit card company, and anyone I share the statement with. If these transactions were recorded “on-chain” anyone, anywhere, can see the charges without me explicitly sharing them.
Also, nobody could manipulate them, as the record is distributed in nature, e.g., validated by multiple other users or “nodes” on the blockchain. If a single actor tried to manipulate the data, it would be obvious, as the “changed record” would not agree with the record-keeping across the rest of the nodes and be rejected as invalid.
Though accessibility/UX still leaves a lot to be desired, blockchain technology is a remarkable mechanism for transparency and accountability!
Lacey Hunter, Co-founder and CEO, TechAid
A Very Advanced Spreadsheet
Blockchain is a record of transactions that has all the relevant details available for viewing. Think of it like a shared spreadsheet where whoever has the password can view the information in an organized and detailed way. Every time a new transaction occurs, it’s automatically added to the blockchain, just like a spreadsheet gets automatically updated when new data is entered.
Cynthia Davies, Founder, Cindy’s New Mexico LLC
A Digital Ledger
Blockchains record information in a way that prevents it from being changed, hacked, or cheated. At its core, a blockchain is a digital ledger shared between computers in a network. It stores information electronically and is mostly used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
The primary function of this system is to keep a secure and decentralized record of transactions.
Marco Genaro Palma, Co-founder, TechNews180
A Digital Notebook
Think of blockchain like a digital notebook that everyone can see and write in, but nobody can erase or change what’s already been written. Each time someone writes an additional note, they add it to the end of the notebook. These notes are grouped in blocks, and every block is connected to the one before it, forming a chain.
Everyone has a copy of the notebook, so if someone tries to change a note, everyone else can see it and stop them. This makes the notebook secure and trustworthy. In real life, blockchain is used to keep track of digital transactions, like money or important documents, securely and transparently.
Robert Wolski, Co-founder, Halftone Digital
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