On Blockchain

January 22, 2018

 

Electra is actively engaged in Blockchain research. One of the most basic questions about Blockchain is why there is a need for all of this complicated mathematics and cryptography. When we think of databases as we understand them now, we think of a well-ordered environment where there is a DBA who creates a set of rules and enforces them. The point of the DLT complexity is that if you remove the DBA and any ability to enforce rules then you need a completely distributed system to be able to ensure that rights are carried by the person who is attempting to do a transaction. The cryptographic keys and verification and proofs that are done are the solution to this. It is essentially a new kind of database that can exist in a completely wild environment without enforcement because the complexity of the work needed to add a new transaction if you don’t have the right information is so high that it is undoable. Hence enforcement is done in the math and cost of computing power.

Jimmy Song (https://medium.com/@jimmysong) said it this way, “Blockchains are essentially a distributed database with cryptographic proofs of the right to insert rows.”

Of course, the original target in Bitcoin was to deal with attackers. You can read about it here: http://nakamotoinstitute.org/bitcoin/ .

(Scott Rhodes — Chief Operating Officer)

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