Demystified: Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, et al….

Rajeev Mudumba
6 min readMay 5, 2018

The most disruptive technologies of the current and the upcoming decades include artificial intelligence (AI), augumented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and an interesting technology still in its infancy called Blockchain.

In simple terms, its decentralized management of transactions, financial and otherwise without a centralized body commanding control. It’s effectuated through a decentralized network of peers sharing the technology, overseeing it and cross validating each transaction that is passed through the network. It is in fact, a “chain of blocks” where the blocks represent transactions that get added into a chain with every peer having review access to it.

Blockchain is an interesting concept that has applications for several use cases across various industry domains from finance to healthcare, from education, media to commerce and more. As we discuss this, organizations in every domain continue to setup research labs to look into the viability of the technology and seek use cases to commercialize it.

However, the birth of the technology came from trying to create a peer-to-peer digital currency called Bitcoin, that is free from the control of banks, who we know as the regulatory authority over money and its transactions.

It is said that the blockchain concept itself is several decades old but mainstream interest was garnered with the birth of Bitcoin around 2008, when the conceptual paper was released. Bitcoin as a digital currency, slowly but surely took off and is currently valued at around $16K USD in fiat currency terms. The swift rise in Bitcoin value has gained much interest across the globe and as a result, several alternate coins or “alt coins” have also come into being. Collectively, these are called Cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have also become one way of raising new funds for startups and ventures, mostly leveraging some aspect of the blockchain technology.

It’s important here to differentiate between Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is the technology that powers transaction management in a decentralized network of peers but also enables the existence of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is one of the best-known cryptocurrencies out there, the one for which…

Rajeev Mudumba

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