Blockchain Basics

Sourced from Dan Emmons’ post on Medium.

Blockchain is a transformative technology that empowers individuals to trade information through peer-to-peer transactions and lower the use of intermediaries like large banks. Trust among peers is made possible through cryptography and a reliable network of computers that adhere to a set of well-defined rules, or protocol.

Blockchains store data in a structure that effectively timestamps the information through a digital verification process and changes to the data are stored in blocks, “chained” together by linking to the “hash” of the block before it, hence a “chain of blocks.” You can think of the hash as a “digital fingerprint” of the data. Even a tiny change has a large avalanche effect on the fingerprint, making it nearly impossible to fake a change, but very easy to identify if a bad actor is in the system.

Since copies of the data are stored in a public, open, borderless way, the network of computers verifying the data keep it secured, reliable, decentralized and censorship resistant, making it widely available to everyone.

Not all blockchains are alike. There are a couple notable ones that are heavily used in practice: Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most well-known. The types of data that are stored on each blockchain represent different digital assets that are native to their chains. Smart contracts let us extend this further.

How does that relate to Loci?

Loci utilizes Blockchain technology to store data representing a your invention to intellectual property (“IP”). We are currently relying on the Ethereum Blockchain because it allows us to store information, with the use of smart contracts. By disclosing an invention or abstract on the Ethereum Blockchain through the LOCIsearch platform, a digital fingerprint of the description is stored, and becomes immutable timestamped proof of existence, stored instantly on computers around the world.

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