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Blockchain Developers

History

Although many people view blockchain technology as a new concept, the technology can be traced back to the work of David Chaum, an American computer scientist and cryptographer, who developed systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s that contained many of the elements of blockchains. Chaum also developed eCash, an anonymous electronic currency that predates Bitcoin by three decades.

In 1991, cryptographer colleagues W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber published a paper,  “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document,” that many consider to be the first description of what would eventually become blockchain technology.

Many cite 2008 and 2009 as the years in which blockchain technology really took off. A person or group named Satoshi Nakamato (the individual/group prefers to remain anonymous) published a whitepaper about the uses of blockchain technology to authenticate cryptocurrency payments. Nakamato used software to create (or mine) Bitcoin, the first mainstream cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology was the public ledger used to record Bitcoin sales in a distributed ledger database. Today, more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies (such as Ether, XRP, and Litecoin) are purchased and traded globally.

Around 2014, IT professionals began to realize that blockchain technology could be used for many applications beyond cryptocurrency, including financial services (60 percent of the technology’s market value is concentrated in this area, according to Statista.com), health care, shipping, and manufacturing. Computerworld reports that blockchain technology “has the potential to eliminate huge amounts of record-keeping, save money, and disrupt information technology in ways not seen since the Internet arrived.”

A key recent development in blockchain technology is the introduction of smart contracts, computer code that is stored on a blockchain that allows certain actions to be executed without human approval under specified circumstances. “Smart-contract technology can speed up business processes, reduce operational error, and improve cost efficiency,” according to “Blockchain Technology and Its Potential Impact on the Audit and Assurance Profession” a report from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and other final organizations.   

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