The blockchain is eternal. Every transaction logged to the encrypted and open public ledger technology is cryptographically locked, frozen in an inalterable public record. The code is the foundation of much-hyped cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as well a number of fascinating, if speculative, startups. The business and cultural potential of the blockchain excited business and developer communities, but technological reality of the code is often misunderstood.
The blockchain is a long string of code that acts as an ever-growing list, or database, of every Bitcoin transaction. The code is unique because it’s inalterable, but publicly accessible through a web interface, through iOS and Android apps, downloadable using BitTorrent (a similarly named, yet unrelated technology), or using the remote procedure call (RPC) getblock.
Each transaction in the chain contains metadata about when and how the transaction was made. Superficially this transaction list appears as benign as a personal bank statement, but because the blockchain is both decentralized and difficult or impossible to alter, the metadata within each transaction record can be used as a platform for developing innovative technologies. Transaction metadata is public record and used to