What is Blockchain, What is Bitcoin, Why it is needed?

I planned to participate in a Hackathon event on BlockChain and it was completely new to me, so I read various blogs, articles on this to understand very basic of block chain. Putting together my notes around basic learning on this.

1) what is Blockchain?
2) what is Bitcoin?
3) why is Blockchain needed?

What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a technology that maintains transactions on distributed network of computers in a transparent fashion! 
So think of this as " a data units ( block ) which are distributed over a network ( chain ) of computers.
The authenticity of each transaction is protected by digital signatures.

When we say "transparent", yes it is truly transparent and made accessible to public. Of course over some secured API's!

It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen, Hence eliminating third party involvement.

The most powerful fact of blockchain technology is, it minimizes or eliminates third party involvements.

Example:- You are working on app that requires money to be transferred from User 1 account to User 2 account then how would you find that user 1 has sufficient money in account for this transfer? You would certainly need a third party, yeah? Which is bank! But, using blockchain technology, all previous transactions of user 1 and user 2 can be stored as string of blocks over distributed networks and since it is transparent and available to public , we would know ( without bank involvement ), who can send what and to whom and how much!

What is Bitcoin?
You might have heard people to talking about Bitcoin while having discussion on blockchain? 

Bitcoin is the application ( most popular till date ) of blockchain. By analogy it is like being able to send a gold coin via email!! :-)

Yes, you can buy and sell bitcoins! Interesting!! Probably your next investment!

There are bitcoin wallet apps which enables you to make bitcoin transaction.

Why block chain is needed?
There are many aspect but if you see on the point, "Transparency and Cost", these two gets shared whenever third party gets involved, which results in money gets distributed to middlemen and thus true value creator often doesn't get what they actually deserve.

So, blockchain enables removing middlemen, creating trust less deals and indelible reputation systems, blockchain could finally make micro transactions and micro payments feasible.

Example:- Development of applications like "Smart contract" that defines agreement contacts, which can be attached to blockchains in order to bring clarity to deal making.
Artists could load up their content on a blockchain and invite the likes of record labels to access it by agreeing to their terms of use. The benefit is that all parties concerned would see how much content is being used and when, reducing confusion, paperwork and allowing for near instantaneous royalty payments.

There are blockchain enabled music application being developed.

Read hereon how Yes bank is using blockchain technology to help companies to fully digitize their systems.

There are very innovative and interesting apps are being developed on blockchain in Transport industry, AI, internet connected devices etc.

Thanks for the read, I hope this gives you very basic understanding of blockchain.

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