While the blockchain can do some complex and extraordinary things, it’s actually quite simple. Unfortunately, some people just like to keep special things to themselves by making them seem more complicated and scary than they really are. That’s why we’ve written our “wtf is x” series — to help you go from blockchain bashful to blockchain brave.
wtf is the blockchain?
Unless you‘re in finance or tech, most internet definitions of blockchain intend to leave you dazed and confused. Worst yet, you’ll be targeted with all sorts of ads. So if you’ve already googled it, let’s wipe your mind (and your search history) of that traumatic event.
Here’s the f3 translates version instead:
Let’s begin by breaking down the word: Blockchain = block + chain
Literally, just imagine blocks being chained together.
Now visualize that inside each of these blocks is data or information about a transaction. And as new transactions happen, they’re being turned into blocks that are chained to one another.
A blockchain is really just a record of transactions, but instead of being written on a piece of paper, it’s on the internet using blocks and chains. I know, it’s wild. 🤪
When we put the two back together, the blockchain is a record of transactions on the internet.
Why should I care about the blockchain?
First, unlike Google Sheets or QuickBooks, transactions on the blockchain can’t be deleted or edited — this is what they mean when they use the fancy word ‘immutable’. No private companies owning your data and doing weird things with it.
Second, the blockchain is completely public, which means that once blocks are created and chained to one another, anyone can have access to these records. No banks and governments making up random rules about what you can or can’t do with it.
Public and permanent, the blockchain makes it possible for us to track the movement of information through technology. We can see how anything of value begins and ends up — opening up entirely new industries and ways of doing business.
Give me an example.
The blockchain is how cryptocurrency and NFTs are possible. Using blocks of information being chained together on the internet, we can see when a cryptocurrency was created, how much of it was created, and where each cryptocurrency traveled to.
Here’s an example of how it works with cryptocurrency:
[Annee sent Valerie $3] >🔗> [Valerie sent Chase $3] >🔗> [Chase sent Joon $3]
Here’s another example of how it works with NFTs:
[Artist designed 100 NFTs]>🔗>[Artist sends NFT #1 to Cynthia for $10]>🔗>[Cynthia sends NFT to Tom for $15]
Now just imagine how your world would look like if we could always be confident about the authenticity of an art piece or how much it’s worth. This means anything of value can be traced back to it’s origins — from artwork to real estates and businesses.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Curious to learn more and meet the womxn building web3? Join us on July 9-10 for F3STIVAL, a two-day conference welcoming 1000+ womxn to web3 — answering questions like WTF is crypto and How the F do I set up a wallet IRL.