What is blockchain and decentralization?
BY YOUPIC TEAM
2 MONTHS AGO
Following our previous blogpost, we have received several questions from photographers regarding complicated and relatively new concepts like decentralization and the blockchain. Because of the number of inquiries we have received, we wanted to take the chance to offer a simple explanation of these concepts. Photographer’s with specific questions regarding decentralization, the blockchain, and how these concepts relate to YouPic’s mission, join our telegram group ( https://t.me/joinchat/FzfyFEzYSyznYU_Wf7CBBA) and we will answer you to the best of our ability.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Put briefly, the blockchain is a distributed ledger database that can be used to store or transmit unique sets of data. The platform is peer-to-peer, meaning that there is no middle-man in the transmission process. It’s peer-to-peer nature is critical, as it maximizes the efficiency of the technology, and ensures that no other parties can access, copy, or alter the data. Each set of data is attached to an owner, who is the only person (or party/organization) that can access or alter that data.
The blockchain’s main purpose is to act as an audit log, storing and tracking all the data run through it. You can think of it as a modern version of a traditional notebook ledger, but infinitely larger, more efficient, and available for both public and private use. It importantly removes the need for central bookkeeping, and allows for the transmission of data, money, or ownership rights, without the need for middle men, like banks.
The blockchain underpins cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and is a critical part of the transmission of digital currency. When a person sends another person Bitcoin, for instance, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain along with data including prior ownership, current ownership, amount sent, and the time/date the transaction was completed. Cryptocurrency transactions are not the only things that the blockchain is used for, other examples include supply chains, logistics, insurance, healthcare, and now, photography ownership rights.
What Does Decentralization Mean?
A crucial aspect of the blockchain is the fact that it is decentralized, meaning that no central party owns or operates the technology. As a general concept, decentralization can apply to anything, ranging from organizations to currencies (like Bitcoin). Here at YouPic, we feel that decentralization is one of the most important aspects of the blockchain, as it can never be stopped by a centralized party. Because the general technology cannot be altered, neither can the information being stored or transmitted on it.
In addition to keeping the data immutable, decentralization provides a fairer system for all the users of the Blockchain, because there is no group deciding which data, or users, to accept or reject. In order to efficiently store and transmit data, the blockchain utilizes a consensus protocol to validate the activity occurring on the platform. This sounds incredibly complex, but in essence it is actually quite simple. A consensus protocol uses a series of devices (nodes) to run the digital platform and to confirm the data being sent through it. Unlike internet servers, no single group operates or owns all the validators, so if one shuts down, it won’t have any significant effect on the blockchain.
A few key benefits decentralization brings to the blockchain include:
Resistance to failure - a decentralized system is more resistant to failure, because the likelihood of all the operational components failing is incredibly unlikely.
Collusion-tolerance - It’s very hard for participants in a decentralized system to act in ways that will benefit them solely. No decentralized group can act in a way that benefits them at the expense of others.
Less prone to attacks - decentralized systems are significantly harder to attack, destroy, or manipulate, simply because they lack a single focal point that can be attacked.
The YouPic team is incredibly excited about the future of the blockchain, and we are constantly looking for ways in which we can utilize cutting edge technology to benefit the photography industry. The public and decentralized nature of the technology can bring a never before seen level of clearly defined ownership and distribution rights for photographers around the world.
Curated by: Liquid Layer Networks