Intro to the Blockchain

The blockchain is open source

The Blockchain Part 3.1

Most people probably don’t lose any sleep over all the code behind any application. What they do lose sleep over is when an application they’ve grown so attached to, suddenly doesn’t work.
And who can blame them? You’re not supposed to figure out how everything works. Sometimes you just want to use something because you need it. So to most people, you’re everyday objects simply has to work and rightfully so. Why and how it works isn’t nearly as important as to having it work.

This, however, doesn’t mean that we should forget the complexity of easy to use items.  Just because it’s easy to use, doesn’t mean it was easy to make. Turning on a light is easy, using your mobile device is easy, driving a car is easy, but creating/building these things (especially from scratch) is very complex.

And so is the blockchain

Understanding and using the blockchain is still very complex. Combine that with a lack of working products and the pieces of the puzzle start to fall in place as to why it’s not massively adopted yet.

So we should just move on? That’s the beauty of humans and knowledge. We build our future with knowledge from the past.  Right now there are people gaining knowledge and making connections to figure out the missing pieces. Somebody will create the equivalent of an easy to use lightswitch for the blockchain which will enable it to be used by the masses. So no… we should not just move on.

Now this may come as a huge surprise but a piece of code looks nothing like this:

In the real world a piece of code mostly looks more like this:

Good programming or code

It’s way more than a few characters and symbols scribbled right next to each other. Coding is a piece of art in the form of a puzzle wherein all the pieces have to be inserted a certain way for it to mean and do something.

Take Facebook for example. As of September 2016, Facebook has over 61 million lines of code. [1] That’s about 9215 books (about 70.000.000 words!) of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, stacked on top of each other. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

What does all of this have to do with the blockchain being open source?

“Open source software is collaboratively produced, shared freely, published transparently, and developed to be a community good rather than the property or business of a single company or person. When a project is developed open source there isn’t a single chokepoint in the development process, no company or individual that makes, owns, and sells the software. “[2]Peter van Valkenburgh

The blockchain is a complex piece of code that works. There are many examples of the blockchain in action with the prominent one being Bitcoin. The blockchain being open source gives anyone full visibility into the code base. As a matter of fact, you can check out the entire source code for Bitcoin on GitHub right now! It’s developed in the open, free for the world to use and modify, wholly independent from one or even a handful of corporate interests, and updated by hundreds of passionate users.

This, of course, comes with its advantages and disadvantages. More on that in the next post!

[1]https://fossbytes.com/how-many-lines-of-code-are-there-in-google-first-space-shuttle-facebook
[2]https://coincenter.org/entry/what-is-open-source-and-why-is-it-important-for-cryptocurrency-and-open-blockchain-projects

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