A Brief History of Blockchain
Blockchain technology has reached a turning point. The most recent edition of the Deloitte Blockchain Survey talks about companies transitioning from “blockchain tourism” to building their actual business technologies using blockchain technology. According to the same survey, 53% of respondents state that blockchain technology has become a major business priority for their organizations. That’s a 10% increase since 2018.
Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the last 10 years, you’ve likely seen headlines about blockchain technology, ranging from the hyperbolic to the apocalyptic. Blockchain technology was all the rage a few years ago, thanks to the explosion of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With so many billing Bitcoin as the next get-rich-quick scheme, there has been a lot of skepticism around the blockchain.
What many don’t realize is that blockchain technology has been around since the 1990s and it has more applications than just cryptocurrency.
We’re going to delve into the history of blockchain to help you better understand how the technology’s been used and what potential applications it can herald for the future.
The History Of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has been around since the early ’90s.
Blockchain Phase 1: 1991 – 2008
In 1991, Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta had a vision for what would eventually become blockchain technology. They posited a series of crytographically-secure chains, or blocks, with secure timestamping so they couldn’t be altered.
Blockchain really started to get its legs in 1992, when Haber and Stornetta added Merkle trees to the chain, greatly enhancing the storage capacity of each individual block.
Blockchain came into its own in 2008, with the addition of the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakomoto is the mastermind that helped make blockchain a reality. Not much is known about Nakomoto, including if they’re a real person or in fact a group of people working under a collective pseudonym.
Whoever he/she/they are, Nakomoto’s a brilliant coder and researcher. Nakomoto released the first whitepaper on Bitcoin in 2009, focusing on how blockchain technology enhances digital trust and the merits of decentralization.
2008 – 2013: Bitcoin 1.0
Bitcoin was the first technology to actively make use of the blockchain. This causes many people to think of the two as synonymous, but that’s not the case. Thanks to the raging popularity of Bitcoin, however, it did help to make blockchain technology a household name. It also helped to introduce the public to the concept of blockchain in general.
2013 – 2015: Ethereum Development
Between 2013 and 2015, programmer and researcher Vitalik Buterin began to expand the limits of blockchain technology. Buterin felt that Bitcoin was not taking full advantage of blockchain’s security, verification, and the revolutionary implications of decentralization.
Buterin put forth a more malleable blockchain technology that became more than just a peer-to-peer network. Ethereum allowed people to use blockchain to verify more than just currency, including intellectual property and contracts.
2018 – Present: The Future Of Blockchain
In recent years, blockchain technology has been used in a number of new and innovative ways. Like NEO, the first open-source blockchain technology launched in China even though the Chinese government has outlawed cryptocurrencies. NEO is already being backed by the CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma.
Others have been leveraging blockchain technology to help accelerate the onset of the Internet of Things. IOTA was created specifically for the IoT ecosystem, as it features no transaction fees and unique verification processes.
Other blockchain technologies are emerging to address the security issues around the first iteration of blockchain. Called privacy Altcoins, these emerging innovations are solving some of the problems that have shadowed blockchain since its onset.
As the problems get solved, the blockchain is only going to become more integrated into our day-to-day lives. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes next!
Wondering How Blockchain Technology Can Benefit Your Business?
At Unvetica, we delight in offering state-of-the-art technological solutions to all-too-human problems. It’s the heart of our human-centric design philosophy.
We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities for blockchain technology. Whether you’re just learning about the history of blockchain or the future of the industry, contact us today to find out how we can help your business prosper.