What is Blockchain?
Think of blockchain as an accordion folder with an unending option to add more accordion compartments. Each compartment is filled with files that are maintained by various people. The blockchain is the accordion folder, the compartment is the block, and the files inside are the individual transactions. None of the files nor compartments are thrown away. Blockchain contains all the historical data ever made, and this is the technology upon which cryptocurrencies like BitCoin are based.
The various people who maintain this can either be:
- Miners - review incoming data into the blockchain
- Users (nodes) - verify information going into the blockchain, making sure only the data that need to be added are added
- Developers - maintenance and security people
Sticking to the accordion folder scenario, the movement of a cryptocurrency through the blockchain will go a bit like this: B wishes to give C 1 BTC plus transaction fee as payment for a transaction. B will write down that transaction in a message and create several copies, secure it and send it off to the miners. Each miner will try to open the message and organize it into a compartment, in essence mining the block. These miners will earn BTC for doing this. The first miner to figure out the security code will be awarded the transaction fee. The miner will then add on to the message that he/she now owns the transaction fee. All the users will then review the compartment and the files within it to make sure that everything is legitimate and above board. The compartment is then added to the accordion folder. The developers make sure that the compartment fits the folder, the files fit the compartment, and that the compartments can be built upon.
Can blockchain protect CBD consumers?
Blockchain allows an easy way for people to track supply chain information. In this way, blockchain technology can protect consumers and give them peace of mind. It is important for consumers that their CBD products such as gummies, candies, and tinctures are manufactured through ethical and ecological means. However, there are CBD manufacturers that use questionable practices to make and sell CBD products. These illegal products can have adverse effects on consumers such as delayed reaction time, as well as increased risk of depression and other mental illnesses. The traceability of production brought about by blockchain can ease the minds of the consumers about the CBD products that they procure; and can help stop the production of CBD products that use illegal means.
What’s wrong with blockchain?
Blockchain has earned a somewhat tainted image. True believers of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology tout the transparency of transactions and the vetting of individual users as proof of its security. Skeptics however see blockchain as a way for the blackmarket to transact illegal goods and help keep the illegal drug trade operating. Some even believe terrorist activities are funded with cryptocurrencies through blockchain technology.
It is also highly unregulated. Some states and jurisdictions may have passed certain laws that are meant to regulate blockchain and cryptocurrency, but it is largely still very much a free bird. Lawmakers are debating whether or not regulating blockchain will be detrimental to its growth. In general, Federal agencies and policy makers are looking at blockchain as an important part of future US economic infrastructure and are wary of hindering its potential.
There is also a lack of standardization. This limits interoperability among the various blockchain platforms. Each platform has its own set of codes, language, and security measures. Certain steps have been made to make it more universal across platforms but we are not there yet.
Will this technology remain helpful to consumers in the long run? That remains to be seen.
Heather Smith is the Communications Manager at Sunday Scaries. She’s a composed copywriter and content strategist. She’s also a CBD advocate, promoting a healthy lifestyle free of stress and scaries.