"Proof of Work" used by Bitcoin is a competitive consensus algorithm. Each node races to solve a difficult puzzle first. Doing so earns the right to produce a block and you are rewarded in Bitcoin. The block is where the transaction (value of data) is written and confirmed. However, this race is a waste of time and money for those that don’t win. You get nothing unless you are the first to solve the puzzle. Since no one wants to lose, nodes started working together to solve the puzzle and share the reward based on your computational power (the hash rate).
It may sound nitpicky, but I think that description leaves something to be desired in terms of presenting the “correct” mental model. First, there is no such thing as “a” bitcoin, as I am sure the author would agree. Speaking of spending or moving bitcoins perpetuates the notion of bitcoins as “things”. It might be preferable to say that you are spending or moving “units of the bitcoin protocol”. There is something similar going on here with dollars. The dollars in your bank account aren’t things either, they are units of demand or claim on a currency. The fact that printed dollars have serial numbers tends to confuse this notion. Treating something as a “thing’ which is not a thing is sometimes referred to as the reification fallacy.
Private institutions like banks realized that they could use the core idea of blockchain as a distributed ledger technology (DLT), and create a permissioned blockchain (private or federated), where the validator is a member of a consortium or separate legal entities of the same organization. The term blockchain in the context of permissioned private ledger is highly controversial and disputed. This is why the term distributed ledger technologies emerged as a more general term.
The Bitcoin Blockchain is a game changer, because it is public and permissionless. Anyone in the world can download the open source code, and can start verifying transaction, being rewarded with bitcoin, through a concept called mining. All stakeholders in the bitcoin network, who do not know and trust each other, are coordinated through an economical incentive framework pre-defined in the protocol and auto enforced by machine consensus of the P2P Network. The smart contract in the blockchain protocol therefore provides an coordination framework for all network participants, without the use of traditional legal contracts. In private and permissioned blockchain, all network participants validating transactions are known. Bilateral or multilateral legal agreements provide a framework for trust, not the code.
Sidechains offer a way for new, more radical settings and technologies to be implemented without affecting the main chain. This ensures that the main chain is as secure as possible whilst providing the freedom to explore options which would never be considered for use on the main chain. Sidechains should be quite powerful as they provide cases like anonymity, transparency, confirmation times and turing complete options like rootstock all whilst utilizing bitcoins rather than relying on the hashing power (security) of some far less secure alt coin. That being said… there is quite some controvery regarding blockstream’s funding of most of the core development team and their inflexiblity regarding the max blocksize. This inflexibility has directly contributed to the success of ethereum and it remains to be seen whether the dream of bitcoin maximalism will survive long enough for sidechains with all of the promised functionality to be rolled out. I am skeptical.
Recordemos, como hemos mencionado anteriormente, que actualmente son cientos los proyectos y monedas alternativas que trabajan con su propia cadena de bloques, totalmente desconectadas de la de Bitcoin. Todas con su cotización volatil. El problema de estas monedas es que ninguna de ellas dispone del efecto red ni de la seguridad que sí tiene Bitcoin. De hecho muchas, pese a haber implementado propuestas interesantes, se quedan en nada, con miles de horas y esfuerzo “tirado a la basura”. Incluso algunas de ellas han replicado el codigo de Bitcoin, pero también los fallos que en ese momento pudiera tener y mientras que en Bitcoin si se han solucionado, en esa Altcoin no.
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A blockchain is so-called “public” (or open) when anyone can become a member of the network without conditions of admission. In other words, anyone wishing to use the service proposed by the network can download the protocol locally without having to reveal his or her identity or meet predetermined criteria. A protocol is a computer program that could be compared to a Charter in that it defines the rules of operation of a network based on a blockchain. For example, the members of the bitcoin network download the Bitcoin protocol (through the intermediary of their “wallet”) to be able to join the network and exchange bitcoins, but the only condition is to have an Internet connection.
This type of permissioned blockchain model offers the ability to leverage more than 30 years of technical literature to realize significant benefits. Digital identity in particular, is fundamental for most industry use cases, be it handling supply chain challenges, disrupting the financial industry, or facilitating security-rich patient/provider data exchanges in healthcare. Only the entities participating in a particular transaction will have knowledge and access to it — other entities will have no access to it. Permissioned blockchains also permit a couple of orders of magnitude greater scalability in terms of transactional throughput.