chapter  1
23 Pages

Introduction to Blockchain and Big Data

WithRobbi Rahim, Rizwan Patan, R. Manikandan, S. Rakesh Kumar

Across several industries over the past few years, one of the hottest topics of interest is blockchain. Blockchain technology works on the principle of creation of data records where each new record resides in a block with a link to the previous record or simply called as linking blocks of data. Blockchain on one hand enables the existence of cryptocurrency, whereas on the other hand, Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is represented in the form of a digital currency and is also categorized as a component of virtual currencies. The cryptocurrency being a digital asset acts as a medium of exchange with the aid of cryptography where final transactions are secured. Besides with the decentralized control, the cryptocurrency works on the principle of distributed ledger forming public financial transaction database. Among the different types of decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is considered as the first decentralized cryptocurrency. The technology behind Bitcoin is blockchain, where Bitcoin forms the digital token, where the blockchain is the ledger that pertains to keeping track of users possessing the digital tokens. Though Hyperledger does not support Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, however, it remains the foundation framework for building blockchain applications with a modular architecture. The most salient characteristic of the Hyperledger framework is that it permits a smart contract. The smart contract being lines of codes stored on a blockchain and executed upon satisfaction of certain terms and conditions. When compared to cloud server that stores or uploads data in a single location, on contrary this, the blockchain splits everything into small blocks and disseminates them across the entire network of computers, without the requirement of third party. In this way, privacy, data security and data quality are also ensured and as a consequence, are transferring the way users approach for big data management too. Certain blockchain use cases in big data ranges from ensuring trustworthy as they would have gone through a long way for verification process to usage of consensus algorithm that helps in verifying transactions to reveal valuable future outcomes to real-time cross border transactions irrespective of geographic barriers. Besides, certain real-time applications include limited to not only, anti-money laundering, preventing cyberattacks, application of blockchain in big data supply chain solutions, ensuring security of health records and so on.