There may be no more important requirement for being a digital citizen of the 21st century than understanding blockchain. A system of recording and storing information on the web, blockchain represents the cutting edge in digital infrastructure, the very principles around which the future of the internet is built.
The goal of this blog is to give you a comprehensive introduction to blockchain, both in general terms and as it pertains to our company.
We will explore the foundational mechanisms of blockchain and their implications for the digital world and introduce you to Emrit’s intuitive products that allow you to become a part of the blockchain future – without any previous background knowledge required!
- An Introduction to Blockchain Technology and how it differs from current systems of digital interaction
- A general summary of what kinds of situations Blockchain technology is useful for, from transactions to information transfer
- Introducing Consensus Mechanisms, and distinguishing between proof of work, proof of stake, and proof of coverage
- An Introduction to Emrit as a company, including our goals and aspirations for building the future of the web
- A brief explanation of cryptocurrency mining with Emrit CoolSpots, an integrated experience that can get you set up mining without any prior experience
An Introduction to Blockchain Technology
Blockchain was originally developed as a public transaction ledger of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. For Bitcoin, blockchain is the essential guarantor of ownership and security. But how does it work and how does it apply to the real world?
What is Blockchain in simple terms?
Understanding blockchain technology starts with information. On the internet you know and use every day, information is exchanged constantly, and asset transactions are happening all the time, stored in centralized databases. You can buy or sell goods and send information to a friend or colleague using one of the millions of servers that make up the web.
But if you know anything about the internet in its current state, you know about its susceptibility to information loss. Passwords are hacked and information is stolen. And no transaction is entirely secure.
That’s where blockchain comes in. Blockchain technology revolves around developing a trustless network. Trustless, because no trust is required to ensure the security of your information.
High efficiency, instant traceability, and information transparency revolutionize the way you can use digital infrastructure to store data, own property, and trade goods.
And because it’s so secure, intangible assets, such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and intellectual property, for instance, can be safely and reliably traded, with each transaction recorded in blocks.
What is an example of Blockchain?
Let’s think about Blockchain in action, using an example. Say you want to buy a coat on the internet. In the infrastructure of the current web, you rely on corporate guarantors and “secure” payment methods to complete a transaction and get you your coat.
The information about your purchase is stored in a central server that’s built like a digital fortress to keep hackers away. Your information is encrypted and re-encrypted, masked, and stored behind layers of built-up security.
And while that technology does its job in many cases, it’s actually highly inefficient. From the standpoint of computing power alone, it wastes a large amount of energy every day to try and keep your information from being stolen.
And even then, the security of your transaction and information is not actually guaranteed, especially when the other party is not a well-known public seller.
Say a hacker breached the server, and erased the record of your transaction. Your money would be lost, without any legal proof that you ever bought your coat. And they might steal your credit card number, too!
While people might buy something mundane like a coat in an uncertain, risk-beset digital environment like that, why would anyone want to trade something intangible, like a patent, or something expensive, like a house, if a hacker could steal information or erase a record of the transaction?
It’s not a sustainable security model for a changing, digitalizing world.
Blockchain operates as a decentralized, immutable, distributed ledger. That means, a blockchain transaction is not executed in a central, hackable server, but at any node that has access to the internet. These are essentially computers all over the world!
In other words, the goal of Blockchain is to secure information by letting a network of computers create a record of it, as opposed to just one central server.
A dual-layer of pseudonymous keys allows you to keep your information private and secure. And an unchangeable record of each transaction (each “block” in the chain) is added to the chain and kept there permanently. Each internet node involved in the transaction has a copy of the blockchain, to guarantee its immutability. These smart contracts are legally enforceable.
What things might make use of blockchain?
In the example of the coat, blockchain technology is used to guarantee you a record of your transaction. That might seem overkill for something of comparatively negligible value. But what happens if you want to trade, say, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or something of high value, like real estate, through the blockchain?
Since you’re exchanging something significant, you’ll want to be sure that that transaction is completely secure and recorded. Blockchain can guarantee and prove ownership of something you can’t just hide in your basement safe.
It’s that same guarantee that allows the exchange of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as digital artworks.
Those examples are just some of the many financial applications of blockchain, or what is called the De-Fi or decentralized finance space. Blockchain technology is already being integrated into other industries like wireless, social media, transportation, even voting systems.
Eventually, every interaction in the world, be it between a database and financial institutions or just individuals, could make use of this new technology.
Consensus Mechanisms, Explained
What exactly does a decentralized web of computers do and look like? The blockchain confirms the validity of a transaction using a consensus mechanism.
Cryptocurrency mining computers, or nodes in the blockchain, use their computing power to prove that an anonymous associated transaction occurred. In reward, they receive cryptocurrency.
The first consensus mechanism introduced when Bitcoin launched is called proof of work.
Proof of work is the mechanism by which competing decentralized internet nodes (or, validators) complete a complex math problem to confirm the validity of a transaction. The first node to solve the problem “wins” the proof, is rewarded in cryptocurrency, and creates the block in the blockchain that records that transaction.
Proof of work is actually just one example of a consensus mechanism. As Blockchain technology continues to evolve, a second common way to provide proof of a transaction has emerged – proof of stake.
Proof of Stake does not involve a math problem. Instead, each node bets (or stakes) some cryptocurrency. A pending transaction is randomly assigned to a validator node – if the transaction is invalid, the node loses some of its staked cryptocurrency (which can be a lot of money).
Proof of stake is more energy-efficient than proof of work, which is why it has become very popular with many emerging blockchain networks. It ensures security and prevents fraudulent activity by having each participant in the network bet money on the validity of the transactions.
Blockchain technology continues to grow and develop. The principle of consensus mechanisms is ripe for innovation.
A third mechanism has begun to emerge in the decentralized wireless space, or DeWi, called: proof of coverage, which sees competing nodes send out signals to other nodes in the area and challenge each other for the validity of their signal.
It’s that consensus mechanism, used on the Helium IoT network, that Emrit has begun to innovate with.
Emrit: Your Part in Blockchain Explained
Emrit is a distributed blockchain infrastructure company, creating passive income opportunities for consumers and businesses through cryptocurrency mining.
Joining Emrit means aiding in the construction of Web 3.0, a new generation of internet infrastructure, including applications like Helium’s IoT (Internet of Things) network, the world’s first decentralized wireless network built on a blockchain, and Emrit’s first blockchain partner.
Helium’s IoT network connects physical objects that are embedded with sensors to the internet. Think of smart homes that can turn off your stove if you accidentally leave it on, smart businesses that can track assets all over the world, and smart cities that can tell you where you can find an empty parking space on the street. A real-world blockchain application that you can profit from!
Sounds complicated? It couldn’t be less so, literally. You don’t need to be a whiz coder to start mining cryptocurrency. Emrit has created a cryptocurrency mining experience that’s as easy as plugging in a device and connecting it to the internet.
Emrit and Helium
How do you get started mining Helium’s cryptocurrency? You need a Helium miner or a hotspot. Emrit subsidizes the cost of the mining hardware and you get a share of the cryptocurrency rewards. You also get access to the Emrit mobile app and dashboard to manage your hardware and cryptocurrency earnings.
You don’t have to do anything other than connect it to power and the web. No math or money is required. In essence, you will be plugging in a device that uses the energy of a 5W light bulb and earn cryptocurrency as a reward.
Those cryptocurrency is yours to invest or even exchange into fiat currency (money in the traditional sense).
Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t.
We benefit from the deployment of distributed blockchain infrastructure just as much as you – you provide the energy and internet connection; we provide the hardware. We share the earnings. It’s a mutually beneficial way to create the web of the future. It’s what we’ve called Emrit’s #hardwaredrop. Just like a cryptocurrency airdrop!
So, what exactly is the hardware we use to mine Helium? Introducing the CoolSpot experience.
A CoolSpot is a node in the Helium Network.
It puts out the IoT wireless signal and passes data on the Helium network, earning you Helium’s cryptocurrency (HNT) in the process. Essentially, you will be building new blocks in the Helium chain without lifting a finger.
Helium mining is a rich and interesting topic we’ll cover in greater detail in future blogs.
For now, learn more about the CoolSpot, check out our Getting Started page, and sign up today. There is no easier way to get Blockchain-based technology set up in your home and start earning cryptocurrency immediately.
Conclusion: The Future of The Internet
Understanding Blockchain is not easy, precisely because it goes against everything we were taught about the internet. It’s a decentralized, people-driven approach to securing information and creating networks that don’t rely on traditional structures of authority and power.
It’s clear that Blockchain networks are the future – they offer too many advantages for everyone, from business to normal people, not to be. Hopefully, this post has given you a better grasp of what blockchain technology refers to and what it does.
- We explored the foundational uses and dynamics of Blockchain Technology and how it differs from current systems of digital interaction
- We used the example of an online purchase to explain why Blockchain technology and its immutable ledger are essential to the future of the web
- We introduced the key concept of consensus mechanisms and distinguished proof of work, proof of stake, and proof of coverage
- We introduced our company, Emrit, our plans to build the digital infrastructure of the future, in a mutually-beneficial way
- We introduced Helium mining and the CoolSpot, the subsidized, no-fuss way to start mining cryptocurrency
We will continue digging into the details of Blockchain technology and explore processes like Helium mining in future blogs.
But if you take one thing away from this introduction to Blockchain, it’s that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to take advantage of the digital infrastructure revolution. You can play a necessary part in making the decentralization of web processes possible.
Sign up to join Emrit today and claim your stake in constructing a better digital world. And we’re just getting started – stay tuned for our upcoming PlanetWatch miners, and more.