Google Docs

Understanding the blockchain with Google Docs

The author of The Business Blockchain, William Mougayar, explains in this article why the blockchain can be better understood when compared to document creation and linking programs.

The more people understand blockchain technology, the more likely it will be to expand application possibilities. As with any other new technology, the inventors have by no means thought through all possible applications. Accordingly, I believe it is important to increase the number of entrepreneurs and experts to create new use cases.

In order for this project to be realized, a basic understanding of the extent to which blockchain technology differs from other current technologies must first be created.

Even the most promising startup needs to understand the changes in the behavior and thinking of its users (e.g. Facebook understood the concept of sharing), just as large companies need to prepare for different management challenges to tackle blockchain projects.

The new Bitcoin code database

The idea that the Bitcoin code blockchain is only a modified database has been very popular in the past. In reality, it is not the Bitcoin code themselves that are disruptively addressed, but the way they are synchronized with each other.

Imagine two units (e.g. in a bank) that have to update their own accounts in order to make a money transfer from customer A to customer B. This process is very time consuming and costly, as a high level of coordination is required for synchronization and for sending and checking.

In principle, the money amount for a transfer is kept by the intermediary (in the case of the bank) until a confirmation of receipt has been received from the recipient.

The blockchain avoids this effort, since there is only one account book to which both parties have the same access. This fact simplifies the coordination and confirmation of transactions because there can only be one version at a time and not two different ones.

Exactly this logic should now serve as an analogy for the sharing of documents. Consequently, one should think about what happens when documents are shared by two or more users in order to make changes.

Google Docs and Bitcoin code

The classic way to share documents is to send a Microsoft Word file with a request to the recipient to make appropriate revisions. The difficulty with this scenario is that you have to wait until a Bitcoin code copy has been returned to view the comments or changes and intervene yourself if necessary. As long as the other person edits the Bitcoin code document, you cannot continue working on the file.

This is the current state of databases, two users cannot upload something at the same time. Banks also work according to this principle when it comes to transactions. They must temporarily block access (or reduce the account balance) while performing a transaction, then update the other side of the account and then re-enable access.

With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time and can always view the latest version of the document. Similar to a shared account book, but with the difference that it is a shared document. The challenge of distribution always comes into play when several people are involved – just think of the enormous number of legal or public documents.

Instead of sending documents back and forth and losing track of their path, why not share all business documents instead of sending them? Many different types of contracts would be ideal for this workflow.

Although it does not require a blockchain to share documents, it is a helpful analogy.

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tokens

All stolen? According to study, the code of most tokens is copied

According to a recent study conducted by the Chinese company Netta Lab in collaboration with researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University, the vast majority of producers of old coins and tokens have taken at least 90 percent of their source code from the competition. For some alternatives to Bitcoin, the plagiarism rate was even higher. All stolen?

Bitcoin trader vs. Innovation?

The fact that this does not come as a surprise to industry experts is likely to offend most external observers. The programmers of most Bitcoin trader projects as in the review by onlinebetrug have not done much else in the creation of their tokens than to take over the intellectual property of third parties in the copy and paste process.

The basic idea of open source software, however, is to make one’s intellectual work available to the public. In this way, a better end result is to be achieved in the course of time. Therefore, it is not surprising that the authors of many Altcoins have used the competition with pleasure and abundance. The Bitcoin also uses an open source protocol. This openness and the invitation to the community to work together on a safer and better software explains, among other things, the success of Bitcoin. This openness is also responsible for the triumph of the Firefox browser, the Debian Linux distribution, the Apache Open Office office software, the PostgreSQL database system or, for example, the VLC and Kodi media players. To really name all successful software projects based on the open source principle would go beyond the scope of this article.

Crypto trader – make me the Gutenberg!

The researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University and Netta Lab jointly analyzed the source code of 488 tokens. The crypto trader study revealed according to onlinebetrug that in 405 cases at least 90 percent of the code had been stolen. This means that about four out of five tokens are nothing more than copies.

In 324 cases, even matches were discovered in 95 percent to 100 percent of the code. Only 38 projects found overlaps of less than 80 percent of the source code. This corresponds to a share of 7.8 percent. To the surprise of the researchers, none of these coins or tokens was praised as an original by the creators.

Netta Lab’s study offers critics a lot of scope for attack
So few crypto projects with a unique selling proposition or any innovative features naturally bring some problems with them. For critics this fact offers a lot of potential for attack. They can rightly blame the creators of many supposedly new coins for merely trying to make as much sales as possible with the old wine in new tubes. If this hype also flattens out, one could try to make a little profit from the next “new” coin. Of course, this will then also be created according to the copy and paste principle.

To say it in the words of the Cree Indians: At the latest when the last unsuspecting investor was deprived of his savings with the unimaginative copy coins, the reputation of the entire community was plagiarized. Conclusion: Netta Lab’s study is a clear warning to all active members of the coin community, who should be taken very seriously.

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