What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a public ledger of all transactions ever executed. These transactions and data are stored in a distributed database. When new data is added, all of the updates are done together in a batch called a 'block'. Each time a new block is produced/added, it is appended on to all of the previous blocks - hence the name "blockchain". Since the data is stored across a global network of computers, there is no one central power that controls or can manipulate the data so once data is created on the blockchain it cannot be removed or overwritten.
Blockchain provides the underlying technology for Bitcoin, allowing individuals to send monetary transactions across borders in minutes without the involvement of any banks or other institutions. Because Bitcoin transactions are stored across the blockchain and therefore can not be altered or corrupted.
Financial transactions are an important example of how blockchain technology can be used, but it's applications are much greater. Essentially any kind of value exchange where something is being shared, validated, endorsed, or sold can be processed and recorded on blockchain. Examples include sharing data, Id verification, transferring ownership, and even voting.
Why use blockchain technology?
Today, almost all of our personal data such as profile data, financial transactions, and passwords are stored on servers controlled by large institutions that centralize and often monetize this data.
The advent of blockchain allows us to create new technologies and organizations that exist without a centralized owner or administrator. This has ushered in a new internet age where digital value exchanges can be done directly between individuals or organizations without a middle man. In addition to removing high fees, friction and control from centralized organizations, this also allows individuals to own, protect and transfer their valuable assets (monetary, property, data, etc.) without depending on other institutions.
The ability to decentralize, transfer and own data powers the vision behind Dock.