A text from Gabrielle Thibault-Delorme | A partnership with Radio-Canada
Bitcoin is a currency, and the blockchain is the technology that enabled the creation of this currency by establishing a decentralized transaction system. In a traditional system, a transaction between A and B online necessarily goes through a centralized server, which validates the transaction (and often takes its odds along the way). In a decentralized system, the transaction between A and B does not need to go through a central system, and can occur directly between the parties, but copies of this transaction are sent to servers around the world. It is the consensus between these servers that validates the transaction.
If the principle may seem complex, its applications are very real. The blockchain promises transactions that are better protected from hackers, faster, inexpensive and open to everyone.
Storing multiple copies around the world makes it possible to retain the information if one of the servers is hacked, unlike a transaction that passes through a single server (for example, that of a bank). In addition, as the copies are updated in (almost) real time, and contain all the history of a transaction, the blockchain allows better traceability to the creator of the product.
The applications of the blockchain are multiple and go beyond bitcoin. “There is exploration that is done at the level of the registers, in particular at the level of the land registers and the digital properties. For example, I will be able to prove that I am the creator of online music. Once it is issued in this system, it is validated by all the participants and it cannot be erased”, gives as an example Julien Mbony, entrepreneur and logistics coordinator at Quebec Numérique.
Far from institutions
The blockchain also opens the doors to a whole section of the world’s population that does not have access to the banking system (lack of funds, insolvency, discrimination, etc.) “People wanted to transact, but not all of them access to credit. We needed a global currency, accessible and without barriers to entry,” explains Mr. Mbony.
Hence the invention of bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency.
“In North America, we used it as a tool for financial speculation,” explains Julien Mbony, “but we really have to consider it as a currency, just like the dollar. »
Currently, he adds, bitcoin is gaining strong popularity in South America. Inflation and the instability of banking and government authorities have encouraged the population to use a parallel system for certain transactions.
” The blockchain and bitcoin are about to be adopted by the majority of businesses and are gaining popularity globally. We have only seen the beginning. »
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The blockchain: tons of copies
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