It’s been more than ten years since the Satoshi Nakamoto published his whitepaper Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. While Bitcoin itself has divided many and attracted criticism, the technology that it is built upon, the blockchain, has garnered significant interest due to its promise of immutable digital record-keeping. Here, Darcy Simonis, industry network leader for food and beverage at ABB, explains why the emerging technology stores the key to greater traceability and reduced food wastage.
In the 2008 whitepaper that started it all, Satoshi Nakamoto concluded that he had “proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.” The idea here was that blockchain’s distributed ledger meant all transactions were recorded, eliminating any doubt and ensuring confidence through unforgeable evidence.
But what exactly is blockchain?
While it is often associated with the controversial cryptocurrencies, blockchain itself is a new technology with potential that stretches far beyond cash systems. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT), which is effectively a central electronic ledger that is shared between independent computers, which are known as nodes. These DLT networks use consensus protocols, which means that changes to the ledger cannot be made unless they’re agreed by all other node users, preventing records being tampered with.