Historically, high-stakes interactions between strangers have been brokered by a central authority. In the case of financial transactions, the authority ensures settlement. In other situations, an authority may verify authenticity. The blockchain provides an alternative to relying upon a centralized authority. By combining cryptography and non-hierarchical distribution, the blockchain operates as a new type of authority that is decentralized and networked.
The appeal of the blockchain network comes from safely allowing strangers to transact with each other directly, even across sovereign borders.
A blockchain is a distributed ledger of transactions, replicated across a worldwide network of computers, that records the movement of value between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way. Transactions are grouped into blocks, which are timestamped and attached to the previous block. This chain of blocks creates an unalterable timeline of events that can operate as a truth machine for past events.
The blockchain was originally invented to record transactions of digital money (Bitcoin) across the globe. This created the underlying infrastructure to transact any type of asset, represented in digital form. Learning Machine is focused on official records as a digital asset that may have material or social value. This value is imbued by the institutions conferring them, because they allow recipients to make verifiable claims.
Public Blockchain Security
The Bitcoin blockchain is the most secure, most widely-tested, and most widely-adopted blockchain. We believe this blockchain is currently the safest choice for issuing official records that need to last a lifetime. However, Learning Machine is developing the capability to write to multiple chains at once. Issuers will be able to decide which chain(s) they want to use when issuing official records.
Other Blockchain Options
Learning Machine uses the Blockcerts open standard, which is intended to read/write to any blockchain. If your organization would like to investigate using Ethereum or a private chain, we would be happy to talk with you.
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