Macroeconomic Trends: Blockchain Technology
Over the past year, a particular creature by the name of the “crypto-bro” has come alive, touting their investments in cryptocurrencies as they quintupled in price. These cryptocurrencies vary from the innovative Bitcoin and Ethereum networks to the lucrative dog jokes of Doge and Shiba Inu. Although there are numerous cryptocurrencies, they are all built on the same innovative technology-- blockchain.
A blockchain is a collection of information stored on a distributed computer system. This collection of information can only be changed with the consent of a majority of the participants (computers) of this system, resulting in an ecosystem built on security and trustlessness. The revolution of Bitcoin was the ability to send a specific string of code over the system that represents a currency. Early developers in the space figured that they could greatly expand the use of this blockchain technology by allowing users to send their own, custom, code over it. This custom code has become known as smart contracts-- agreements that are automatically carried out when a predetermined set of conditions are met. Since these transactions are built on a secure system needless of a central authority, they may provide answers to the many problems plaguing our global financial system. These blockchain solutions start at finance and extend into industries far and wide. Examples of various blockchain applications include supply chain management, digital voting, and general data storage.
At this rate of development, blockchain may soon be reaching our school. It could be in the form of over-paying for lunch in crypto or even getting marked late for class on an immutable attendance sheet. Walking through the halls and listening to students scream in anguish over their crypto losses, we have blockchain to thank for that.