A block chain or blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of data records that are hardened against tampering and revision, even by operators of the data store’s nodes.
Thogh this concept/technology started off as a boring prospect, I soon realized the potential. A de-centralized source of truth that anyone can access and no one can tamper - can be pretty useful.
The technology started off with bitcoin. A currency with no central authority. Anyone can have the database, but can read only things, they are meant to - thanks to encryption. A set of complex cryptograpic operations happen all along the network, and its foolproof. Watch this video if you are interested in knowing more.
There are a few challanges around the technology, which makes it even more interesting.
- Latency - Complex operations and replication throught network, it is bond to be slower.
- Size of database in each peer node.
There are also some opertunities to improve. I have a few hypothetical ideas, I am playing with.
- Distrubuted partial database - Each peer stores partial data, but on the whole system has several copies of same data
- Context aware distrubuted database - Each peer knows its context in the whole distrubuted system, and can do operations quickly and smartly.
- Generic data platform - where owner of data has all the power, suppliers ask for the data but can never store.