You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– Buckminster Fuller
The bitcoin train is really made up of two revolutions in one: money and finance, based on the bitcoin protocol, and exploiting the “currency programmability” aspects; and decentralized applications, based on the blockchain’s distributed technology capabilities.
Both are grounded in similar roots (crypto-technology), but they have different branching. Both paths are creating disruptive, innovative and system-changing opportunities for startups, investors, consumers and business players. Both are joined at the hip, and that hip is the blockchain, the backbone of crypto-based transactions.
To fully understand the blockchain concept and the benefits of cryptography in computer science, we need to first understand the concept of “decentralized consensus,” a key tenet of the crypto-based computing revolution.
Decentralized consensus breaks the old paradigm of centralized consensus, i.e. when one central database used to rule transaction validity. A decentralized scheme (which the bitcoin protocol is based on) transfers authority and trust to a decentralized network and enables its nodes to continuously and sequentially record their transactions on a public “block,” creating a unique “chain” — the blockchain. Cryptography (via hash codes) is used to secure the authentication of the transaction source and removes the need for a central intermediary. The combination of cryptography and blockchain technology together ensures there is never a duplicate recording of the same transaction.