Blockchain - on everyone's lips, and yet only a blurred picture is forming in the head? We try to explain it simply and compactly.
The blockchain is a database that protects a sequence of data blocks against changes or rule violations. It does not require a central, trustworthy instance. The blockchain is reflected in a network of numerous computers. The computers use a mechanism that certifies the authenticity of the entries. The special thing: The blocks are built upon each other. If an older block were to be changed subsequently, all subsequent blocks would also change - which would be noticed in each case. Users can use blockchain to determine whether data is correct and unaltered - without having to do this at a central instance such as a service provider.
Blockchain is based on software that creates two keys for each user. One public and one private key. Like an account: the public key is the account number, the private key is the PIN. When I want to become active, I use my private key to enter the necessary information into the system - whether it's a transfer for my mountain bike accessories or borrowing a car. The public key is visible to everyone and is needed so that those involved can see what I have done.
With blockchain, various processes can be mapped clearly and transparently. Wikipedia cites accounting systems as an example of blockchain, in which many people are involved, but the current status must be documented. Every new transaction builds on earlier transactions - as in a chain - and only looks plausible for everyone if everything that went before is consistent.
Consumers only register once for everything
With blockchain technology, it does not matter what is to be documented. For example, previous owners of a work of art or a car could also be documented safely. Contracts, land registry entries or the driving license could be stored forgery-proof. For example, it could be a contract for a scooter rental: I identify myself with my identity, my driver's license, which is only managed by me, make a reservation online and place it in a "block" that documents my decision - the rentals of all other users are also recorded in such blocks. A chain that is growing continuously. The transactions are encrypted and linked to already existing blocks with another encryption technology.
Blockchain promotes trust. It is always one hundred percent clearly traceable who changes what and when and who accesses what, even if they borrow or pay for a scooter, for example. At the same time, providers can easily join forces in it and combine their services. The special thing: The consumer only has to register once for everything. This makes it easy and uncomplicated to switch from a scooter to a rented bike or car or even to bus and train.