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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters PlattlingContact
Over the last 30 years, the Internet has led to decentralization of human-information interaction, and Cloud computing has decentralized data storage. Blockchain technologies go hand in hand with this development: they enable the decentralization of transactions, e.g. between individuals or businesses. Currently, these transactions go through centralized institutions such as banks, land registries or stock exchanges. The processes are designed to ensure that every asset is assigned to the correct owner.
Blockchain allows this assignment to be made directly between the transaction partners – no intermediary is involved. Each participant manages an independent, uneditable, chronological chain of blocks that represent the various transactions. By reading back the chain, it is possible to transparently see at any time what transactions have taken place. If a chain in the network is falsified, it is easy to identify the fact from the other chains that have not been tampered with. The false chain is then no longer valid and is removed from the network.
Blockchains are uneditable and are generally decentralized across numerous different computers. This makes them secure from manipulation or fraud. Although the blocks are visible to everyone, this does not necessarily mean that every participant is able to extract usable information from them. The balance between transparency and confidentiality can be adjusted individually for each blockchain, based on a user configuration.
An example application for Blockchain technologies is the tracking of the entire supply chain for a product from production to the end user. Thanks to Blockchain, the end customer can be sure to have purchased an original product. Each node in the supply chain stores its transaction and the result in the blockchain. It can subsequently be verified, tamper-free, which stations the product has traveled through.