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BlockChain Technology
Beyond Bitcoin
Abstract
A blockchain is essentially a distributed database of records or public ledger of all transactions or digital events that have been executed and shared among participating parties. Each transaction in the public ledger is verified by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system. And, once entered, information can never be erased. The blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every single transaction ever made. Bitcoin, the decentralized peer­to­peer digital currency, is the most popular example that uses blockchain technology. The digital currency bitcoin itself is highly controversial but the underlying blockchain technology has worked flawlessly and found wide range of applications in both financial and non­financial world.

The main hypothesis is that the blockchain establishes a system of creating a distributed consensus in the digital online world. This allows participating entities to know for certain that a digital event happened by creating an irrefutable record in a public ledger. It opens the door for developing a democratic open and scalable digital economy from a centralized one. There are tremendous opportunities in this disruptive technology and revolution in this space has just begun.

This white paper describes blockchain technology and some compelling specific applications in both financial and non­financial sector. We then look at the challenges ahead and business opportunities in this fundamental technology that is all set to revolutionize our digital world.






Date: October 16, 2015



Authors Michael Crosby,GoogleNachiappan,Yahoo
Pradhan Pattanayak,Yahoo
Sanjeev Verma,Samsung Research America
Vignesh Kalyanaraman,Fairchild Semiconductor



This paper was created in an open classroom environment as part of a program within the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology and led by Prof. Ikhlaq Sidhu at UC Berkeley. There should be no proprietary information contained in this paper. No information contained in this paper is intended to affect or influence public relations with any firm affiliated with any of the authors. The views represented are those of the authors alone and do not reflect those of the University of California Berkeley.




Introduction



A blockchain is essentially a distributed database of records or public ledger of all transactions or    digital events that have been executed and shared among participating parties. Each transaction in the public ledger is verified by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system. And, once entered, information can never be erased. The blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every     single transaction ever made. To use a basic analogy, it is easy to steal a cookie from a cookie jar, kept     in a secluded place than stealing the cookie from a cookie jar kept in a market place, being observed by thousands of people.

Bitcoin is the most popular example that is intrinsically tied to blockchain technology. It is also the most controversial one since it helps to enable a multibillion-dollar global market of anonymous transactions without any governmental control. Hence it has to deal with a number of regulatory issues involving national governments and financial institutions.

However, Blockchain technology itself is non-controversial and has worked flawlessly over the years  and is being successfully applied to both financial and non-financial world applications. Last year, Marc Andreessen, the doyen of Silicon Valley’s capitalists, listed the blockchain distributed consensus   model as the most important invention since the Internet itself. Johann Palychata from BNP Paribas wrote in the Quintessence magazine that bitcoin’s blockchain, the software that allows the digital currency to function should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine that     has the potential to transform the world of finance and beyond.

Current digital economy is based on the reliance on a certain trusted authority. Our all online transactions rely on trusting someone to tell us the truth—it can be an email service provider telling us that our email has been delivered; it can be a certification authority telling us that a certain digital certificate is trustworthy; or it can be a social network such as Facebook telling us that our posts regarding our life events have been shared only with our friends or it can be a bank telling us that our money has been delivered reliably to our dear ones in a remote country. The fact is that we live our life precariously in the digital world by relying on a third entity for the security and privacy of our digital assets. The fact remains that these third party sources can be hacked, manipulated or compromised.

This is where the blockchain technology comes handy. It has the potential to revolutionize the digital world by enabling a distributed consensus where each and every online transaction, past and present, involving digital assets can be verified at any time in the future. It does this without compromising the privacy of the digital assets and parties involved. The distributed consensus and anonymity are two important characteristics of blockchain technology.


The advantages of Blockchain technology outweigh the regulatory issues and technical challenges. One key emerging use case of blockchain technology involves “smart contracts”. Smart contracts are basically computer programs that can automatically execute the terms of a contract. When a
pre-configured condition in a smart contract among participating entities is met then the parties involved in a contractual agreement can be automatically made payments as per the contract in a transparent manner.

Smart Property is another related concept which is regarding controlling the ownership of a property or asset via blockchain using Smart Contracts. The property can be physical such as car, house, smartphone etc. or it can be non-physical such as shares of a company.  It should be noted here that  even Bitcoin is not really a currency--Bitcoin is all about controlling the ownership of money.

Blockchain technology is finding applications in wide range of areas—both financial and
non-financial.

Financial institutions and banks no longer see blockchain technology as threat to traditional business models. The world’s biggest banks are in fact looking for opportunities in this area by doing research   on innovative blockchain applications. In a recent interview Rain Lohmus of Estonia’s LHV bank told that they found Blockchain to be the most tested and secure for some banking and finance related applications.

Non-Financial applications opportunities are also endless. We can envision putting proof of existence   of all legal documents, health records, and loyalty payments in the music industry, notary, private securities and marriage licenses in the blockchain. By storing the fingerprint of the digital asset instead  of storing the digital asset itself, the anonymity or privacy objective can be achieved.

In this report, we focus on the disruption that every industry in today’s digital economy is facing today due to the emergence of blockchain technology.  Blockchain technology has potential to become the   new engine of growth in digital economy where we are increasingly using Internet to conduct digital commerce and share our personal data and life events.

There are tremendous opportunities in this space and the revolution in this space has just begun. In   this report we focus on few key applications of Blockchain technology in the area of Notary, Insurance, private securities and few other interesting non-financial applications. We begin by first describing some history and the technology itself.

Section I: BlockChain Technology


  • Short History of Bitcoin




In year 2008, an individual or group writing under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-To-Peer Electronic Cash System”. This paper described a
peer-to-peer version of the electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Bitcoin was the first realization of this concept. Now word cryptocurrencies is the label that is used to describe all networks and mediums of exchange that uses cryptography to secure transactions-as against those systems where the transactions are channeled through a centralized trusted entity.

The author of the first paper wanted to remain anonymous and hence no one knows Satoshi Nakamoto to this day. A few months later, an open source program implementing the new protocol was released that began with the Genesis block of 50 coins. Anyone can install this open source program and become part of the bitcoin peer-to-peer network. It has grown in popularity since then.


– 2008

  • August 18        Domain name "bitcoin.org" registered
  • October 31        Bitcoin design paper published
  • November 09        Bitcoin project registered at SourceForge.net

– 2009

  • January 3        Genesis block established at 18:15:05 GMT
  • January 9        Bitcoin v0.1 released and announced on the cryptography mailing list
  • January 12        First Bitcoin transaction, in block 170 from Satoshi to Hal Finney



The popularity of the Bitcoin has never ceased to increase since then. The underlying BlockChain technology is now finding new range of applications beyond finance.

  • Blockchain Technology: How does it work?


We explain th...


Webcamera in  Munduk, Bali

Die Webcamera von Earth TV liefert Bilder und Ansichten auf malerischen Landschaften in Munduk, Bali: auf das Dorf Munduk, auf Kaffeebäume, Obstgärten, Reisfelder.
 
 Munduk ist ein schönes, ruhiges Bergdorf im Norden von Bali. Da die Webcamera am Ngiring Ngewedang Restaurant & Bar sich befindet, gibt sie eine malerische Aussicht auf die umliegenden Haine von Kaffeebäumen, Reisfelder und Berge. Das Dorf Munduk ist klein, es hat nur eine Hauptstraße, aber hat auch Wanderwege zu den Wasserfällen, von denen einer der drei schönsten Wasserfälle der Insel ist und auch gibt es stimmungsvolle Cafés mit Blick auf die Berge im leichten Nebel.
 
In der Nähe von dem Dorf Munduk befindet sich der gleichnamige Wasserfall Munduk. Die Höhe des Wasserfalles Munduk beträgt 15 m. Zuerst wird er gehört und erst dann gesehen. Von November bis März (während der Regenzeit) ist der Wasserfluss besonders voll. Der Wasserfall Munduk liegt nicht weit von dem See Bedugul.

Sie haben eine Möglichket die Schönheit des Wasserfalls Munduk online zu sehen! Auf Felsen fließt Wasser durch Bäche und in die Tiefen des Dschungels. Die Pflanzen rund um den Wasserfall sind unnachahmlich durch ihre bizarren Formen und Farbsättigung. Sie bedecken die Felsen wie ein Dachstein in allen Schattierungen von Grün. Es gibt viele schöne Wasserfälle in Bali. Man sagt, dass es mehr als 30 gibt! Sie befinden sich hauptsächlich in der Mitte oder im Norden der Insel.

Melanting Wasserfall ist voll von dem Dickicht vom Kaffe und Gewürzen. Es ist ein sehr schöner und ruhiger Ort. Das Geräusch des Wassers, das von der Höhe von 15 Metern fällt, verschmilzt mit dem Vogelgesang und dem Zwitschern der Insekten.
Der Golden Valley Wasserfall befindet sich in der Nähe der Wasserfälle Munduk und Melanting.

Die Natur der Insel Bali ist erstaunlich. Der See Tamblingan ist nicht nur ein wunderschöner und heiliger Ort. Es gilt als die Quelle der Zivilisation der Insel Bali. Dieser See ist eine der Perlen der Insel. Er liegt im Krater eines erloschenen Vulkans. Der See ist der kleinste aus dem Komplex von drei Seen im nördlichen Teil von Bali und ist einer der reinsten Seen der Insel. Um den See herum sind tropische Wälder, in denen Kasuarien, Kiefern und Zedern, als auch viele Arten von Orchideen wachsen. Hier können Sie Affen treffen. Da der See Tamblingan sich hoch in den Bergen befindet, liegt die Durchschnittstemperatur hier bei 18 Grad.  

 
Wunderschöne Panoramablicke durch on-line Webcamera

Werfen Sie ein paar Blicke auf die malerische Umgebung von Munduk.
In vielen Fällen gelingt es, dass die Landschaften einander abwechseln. Zum Beispiel geht der Weg am Anfang entlang die Reisterrassen, dann gelangt man in den Obstgarten und neben dem Fuß befindet man sich in der Mitte des tropischen Dschungels. Einige Wasserfälle verstecken sich in der Mitte der Felsen und der Weg zu ihnen liegt durch die Höhlen. Es gibt auch solche, die direkt im Dorf oder in der Nähe der Ufer liegen. Die Wasserfälle befinden sich nicht immer in undurchdringlichem Dickicht. Sie können völlig verschiedene Landschaften haben: Dschungel, Felsen, Reisfelder, Kaffeeplantagen, Obstgärten, Gewürz- und Kakaoplantagen.

Die Webcamera bewegt sich flüssig, um die Draufsicht auf Schönheiten der Natur des Dorfes Munduk und seine Umgebungen ganz während des ganzen Tages zu zeigen!




Online Rundblicke von Webcamera während 24-Stunden.

Die Webcamera gibt wunderschöne Rundblicke der Sehenswürdigkeiten von Munduk und seiner malerischen Umgebungen, die Sie dank der Webcamera online zu jeder Zeit besichtigen können.