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The Rise of Bitcoins
 31 January 2018  

Bitcoin- The first ever form of cryptocurrency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto has caused quite a stir in the recent times. And although it has been through a roller coaster, analysts say that Bitcoin is in fact, here to stay.So what is it that makes people trust this form of money exchange so much, despite it not being legal tender?Bitcoins have no physical form. They are purchased online and stored in something known as the 'Bitcoin Wallet'.Investing in bitcoins, transactions or something known as 'mining' are ways to multiply bitcoins. People also get rewarded for purchasing and sending bitcoins, thus multiplying their money.The factor most strongly in favor of bitcoins is the security this medium provides. There is both transparency and user anonymity. The user has two keys- a public key and a private key. While the public key ensures that all transactions are out in the open for verification, the private key is only present with the user. Personal details of the individual aren't required to carry out the transaction, only the private key is.The transactions can be verified by anyone in the block chain but the identity of the person is concealed. These bitcoins can also be encrypted for backup and safety.Bitcoins work on a peer-to-peer based transaction without the presence of a third party. The lack of an intermediary ensures a faster exchange of money. The hassles of paperwork and the long waiting hours are saved. It also means that there is no chance of random freezing, as is done by the banks.There is also very little transaction charge in such a medium of exchange. It is approximately 0.0005 bitcoins per transaction as opposed to the usual 3-5% interest charge by banks. Digital currency  exchanges convert bitcoins to fiat money and they too, charge a negligible rate.Decentralisation of bitcoins is another reason for their popularity. This past year has been a whirl with demonetization validating and invalidating notes constantly. There is no such risk with bitcoins since the government has no control over it and cannot order it's manufacture or seizure.So whether or not bitcoins are here to stay is a matter for experts to decide, but it definitely seems to have become the favorite of many. And let's hope for the sake of all those who have placed their faith in bitcoins that it does, indeed live up to the expectations that it's been setting.

Understanding Blockchain
 1 February 2018  

Blockchain is a new technology for performing transactions, often compared to the Internet which revolutionized the way one shares/sees Information. It was first conceptualized by an anonymous person or group of person known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. A Blockchain, in the simplest definition, is a ledger of transaction from the time of its genesis. Transaction is any transfer of a tangible/non-tangible asset within the people associated with that Blockchain. Bitcoin is just one of the many application whose core technology is Blockchain.In most of the transaction, there are three parties involved: the sender, the receiver, and the trusted verifier whose role is to verify that the transaction has actually taken place. For instance, one transfer money via bank through cheque, by money wallet; or one lease out a property after performing certain kind of paperwork implying Government as a trusted authority. A Blockchain removes the necessity for a third party to verify the transaction. This also implies that the Blockchain is robust to fraudster and fraudulent transactions.A Blockchain, visually or programmatically, is nothing but a chain of blocks where each block is a set of transactions. Every block contains information such as current timestamp, a link to the previous block and the next block, a collection of valid transactions during the time period between the formation of previous block and current block. Its network consist of working nodes called miners, whose main work is to create new blocks. These new blocks are joined in a single, continuous, authorative record called Block Chain. Whenever a new transaction takes place, it then propagates to the peers of the originating node and so on, till it exists with the whole network. Now the miners’ job is to validate the transaction and create the block by collecting a set of transactions. Creating a block is computationally expensive cryptographically challenging task. Once such a new block is created it is added to the chain and is then transferred back to the whole network. The other receiving nodes in the network adds the block to the existing ledger after validating the block. If one were to alter any transaction in a fraudulent way which had already taken place, they would have to find a new block that would include that transaction to fit the chain. If the current block to be computed in the network is at number 88, and the altered transaction block was 79, then the person will have to find 9 (79-87) more blocks to make a valid blockchain and pass it to the peer network. This is theoretically possible but is not in real world since finding block is not an easy task, making blockchain an ever increasing, irreversible, secure and public ledgerBitcoin, a very popular digital currency, relies on Blockchain. Applications of Blockchain is not limited to digital currency, it can be used to create smart contracts that execute on fulfilling a certain criteria (ex. Ethereum), for instantaneous peer-to-peer transaction without third parties (ex. In stock trading, property trading, patents), etcTo conclude, Block Chain is a distributed ledger of important transactions stored on a decentralized peer-to-peer network which is incorruptible due to high computation costs of blocks making it irreversible creating a trustworthy network to transact removing the need of middleman.