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The Fundamentals and Future of Blockchain and Bitcoin: Part 4 of 4

This is the last of our 4-part introduction to blockchain. In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, I’ve set out to explain the why, what, and how of this emerging technology. This last part identifies a few of the challenges raised by skeptics in the field. As with many other emerging technologies, there is a degree of hype and overreaching aspiration that is eventually tempered by the reality of implementation and market adoption. As technologists and entrepreneurs, our task is to identify where we are in the hype cycle and whether investing in this new kind of ledger will result in sufficient returns.

Summary So Far

  • A ledger functions as proof of ownership
  • Blockchain is an immutable, sometimes public, usually distributed, ledger
  • Blocks of data are chained together using cryptography such that each subsequent block adds additional difficulty to changing blocks before
  • Adding new blocks to a public distributed blockchain requires proof of work to disincentivize fraudulent activity
  • The work of adding each block is