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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Blockchain News: Archaeology and blockchain: a social science data revolution?

Archaeology and blockchain: a social science data revolution?

This month the world’s first “archaeology coin” launched to fanfare from a small community; however, it might be part of a coming social science data revolution. Named Kapu, the digital currency is similar to Bitcoin, but specifically designed for archaeology. The technology underlying Kapu and Bitcoin is called blockchain and it may change data storage and cultural heritage protection. While the public is unaccustomed with blockchain, there is good reason to believe we may be witnessing the first step in what will become a standard technology over the next decade.

Everyone from financial markets and politicians to libertarians and doomsday savers are taking an interested in blockchain. Many of these individuals are not focused on the currencies, but the use of blockchain as a means to store and share data. It can create a record of assets that cannot be tampered with and it is being tested for assets such as homes and cars, organic food and sustainable fisheries, and, of course, artifacts.

How does blockchain work? It is a complex technology, but the underlying idea is quite simple. Blockchain is a public ledger, unlike a ledger kept by a bank or government institution. Each person who owns a “coin” also maintains a copy of all other assets and transactions, creating a peer-to-peer asset and transaction registry network. This provides transparency and avoids centralized “trust” institutions such as banks. The result is a “distributed” network where all the ledgers and transactions are replicated on delegates’ or users’ computers throughout the network. Data manipulation can be prevented since it will not be approved by the network.

Anyone who has had a hard drive die or server fail can understand the value of data storage without a single point of failure. Well-distributed blockchains have no single point of failure and cannot be controlled by a single entity. The good news is that blockchains can store more than financial ledgers- it can be used to store nearly any digital information.

Full story at

Source: The Guardian

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