Krasnodar, 10 August – Yug Times. Our today’s interviewee is Aleksandr Belenov, Head of ChainLab Blockchain Technologies Laboratory and Idea Scientific Centre, Co-Founder of Blockchain Master’s Programme at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
Q.: What is the blockchain technology?
A.: First of all, one should understand that blockchain, or distributed (shared) ledger technology, is a technology consisting of a big number of mathematical and software subjects, including cryptography, distributed systems, game theory elements, etc. But I would like to dispel the feeling that blockchain is something very sophisticated. At a level of a common man’s understanding, it is quite simple. We all know what database is – it is place where information is stored. Blockchain is also a database, where you can only add information but you cannot edit or delete it. Blockchain is in fact a chain of blocks in which every subsequent block contains data about the previous one. In that case, information is kept on many devices rather than one computer or server; the system is distributed and decentralised.
Q.: What can these features ensure?
A.: In a nutshell, blockchain removes the issue of trust. Didn’t you think that many things in our world hinge on trust? For instance, you want to transfer a thousand roubles to somebody. Then you enter the application, send the money, and then suddenly reveal that a hundred thousand were written off, not just a hundred. You call your bank and tell them, “I never transferred that sum!”, and they tell you: “But we had that transaction come to us.” Who is right in this case? It is just one person’s word against another person’s.
Q.: Blockchain can often be mixed with bitcoins.
A.: Bitcoin is a crypto-currency, or in fact – it is a game. In the blockchain technology, crypto-currencies should solve two tasks. The first is the issue of infrastructure. Any IT project with any software needs servers, facilities to connect it with the outer world and to carry out transactions. Usually it is the project owner who provides such technological infrastructure, but a decentralised system – and blockchain is such a system – means that although there is no one to pay for the entire project, it would not be feasible to disable it due to such decentralisation.
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