What is Blockchain? Why is it important?

You've probably experienced a kind of blockchain if you ever purchased Bitcoin. Blockchain technology doesn't only apply to cryptocurrency. Blockchains are being used by numerous companies to increase their security and optimize their operations. Blockchain technology allows for an efficient and secure tracking of transactions and information. It is essential to know the mechanisms behind blockchain technology if you want to know the effect it will have on the world.

Blockchain explained

The blockchain is a concept that you most likely have come across if you are looking for ways to buy cryptocurrency. Blockchain records all transactions on a ledger.

Here are the steps to make transactions: First, a transaction must be included in a block. The nodes validate the block. Once the block has been verified, it's added to the blockchain. The update is then broadcasted to the peer-to-peer network. An item's entire story can be revealed by looking at its transactions in the past. As new transactions occur, a new block will be added.

The accessibility of a blockchain depends on its configuration. It can be accessible to everyone or only certain users.

Bitcoin is an example of a public network that anyone can join. To keep their data secure, a business could use a private blockchain network.

Who invented the blockchain?

Scott Stornetta, W. and Stuart Haber introduced the concept of blockchain in 1991. They also discussed the benefits of having a “chain of timestamps” for verifying digital document authenticity. From 1991 to 2008, people developed new ideas about the blockchain, drawing on the work of others. Nick Szabo was the first to coin the term “smart contracts” in the 1990s.

Satoshi Nakamoto, one or more developers who used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a white paper that laid out the blueprint for the current blockchain technology. Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper cites Haber's and Stornetta’s work and addresses several problems that prevented blockchain theory becoming a reality.

Nakamoto achieved the vision laid out in the Bitcoin whitepaper by creating the first Bitcoin blockchain in 2009. Blockchain 2.0 was created in 2014. It allows for other uses of blockchain technology, including smart contracts. Ethereum, a blockchain which allows smart contracts, was launched in 2015.

How can blockchain be used?

Although blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, it can also be used for other purposes. Many industries can use this technology to keep track of data in an efficient manner. These are some examples of blockchain applications.


Digital currency is the most well-known application of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology isn't just used by Bitcoin. Ethereum and Litecoin, two other cryptocurrencies that use blockchain technology, are also available.

Blockchain would not be possible without a central authority. Transactions in the financial industry are usually approved by a middleman such as a bank or credit-card issuer. The network of computers verifying cryptocurrency transactions is what approves or controls them.

Financial services

It is not surprising that blockchain technology can be used in financial services. Financial service companies can now use blockchain technology to track financial responsibilities, such as bank guarantees or letters of credit.

The blockchain records everything that is done. It can't be altered. This makes it useful for verifying compliance. Blockchain technology allows for faster transfers between financial institutions.

This document can be used to create contracts, such as for leasing or selling real property. Blockchain technology makes it easier to execute contracts efficiently and keeps a record of all transactions.


Blockchain can be used in many ways in the healthcare industry. Different organizations can use the blockchain to verify and cross-check information. It could be used by insurance companies to verify patient information, rather than waiting for records from healthcare providers.

Blockchain technology allows for the tracking of medical supplies and medications throughout the supply chain, from production to the end users. This is useful in the event that a recall or authenticity check needs to be done.


Blockchain technology could theoretically allow for voting. Individuals could receive private keys to vote. To verify that your vote was correctly counted, you can inspect the blockchain after voting.

Despite the popularity of blockchain voting, MIT and Harvard have found flaws in it. Voting would become impossible if voters lost their private keys. Anyone can access the private keys of another person to vote for them.

Automotive industry

Blockchain technology could also be beneficial to the automotive industry. Blockchain technology could securely share information about vehicles with manufacturers and third-party owners. To offer better auto insurance rates, auto insurers could make use of the information stored on blockchain. These rates could be calculated using data from your vehicle. Manufacturers could use this technology to track parts that go into vehicles and alert owners of defective parts. This would make it easier to recall defective parts and improve customer satisfaction.

Supply-chain management

The COVID-19 epidemic has shown the challenges associated with managing a supply-chain. Blockchain technology can be used for creating an indestructible record that can be shared with multiple parties throughout the supply chain. Walmart Canada, for example, uses blockchain technology to manage its invoices with 70 third-party freight carriers. IBM developed a blockchain-based system called IBM Food Trust that is intended to improve food supply chains.

What are blockchain's benefits?

Let's look at Company ABC as an example to help us answer this question. Company ABC is a legacy network of business that stores its data in many formats and places. To be successful, the company must validate its transactions with external partners.

Customers believe that blockchain technology will transform their expectations of companies in the next five-years.

– Salesforce, State Of The Connected Customer 2018, 2018

Joe Black, Chief Information Officer of the company, discovered problems with data reliability and accuracy. These inefficiencies can lead to delays and fees, which adds costs. This situation creates unnecessary and tedious paperwork that adds to the workload of business teams. It was difficult and time-consuming to reconcile data between ABC and external partners. Joe is concerned about the potential for fraud and criminal activity.

Joe decides that the company should be converted to a shared ledger or blockchain-based database to resolve these problems. This brings together data from all of the company's databases and parallel systems, as well as data from its partners. All parties can now have one interoperable, integrated source of truth. Every stakeholder now has easy access and control over all data and information relating to any business process.

Joe and his coworkers also start to see the following benefits:

  • Securer. Blockchain networks offer more robust security because they are protected using cutting-edge methods such as cryptographic keys.
  • Transactions are faster and more affordable. Blockchain databases don't require traditional third parties like banks or lawyers to authenticate transactions. The technology does that. Businesses can reduce costs and streamline processes by eliminating intermediaries.
  • Transparency and traceability are enhanced. Every network member has access to all transactions and their history. This gives them real-time transaction-level security. These systems are also easier to audit.

“The greater the risk of something going wrong, the more complex and large-scale the data environment.” Amber Baldet is the CEO and cofounder of Clovyr, a decentralized application development startup. She stated that the more data lakes or silos we create, the higher the technical risk. There is a greater chance that something will go wrong if the data environment becomes more complex. It is essential that every industry can break down data into its components.

All parties have access to a single source of truth, which is interoperable and integrated. Every stakeholder in the business now has instant access data and information about any particular business process.

It is sometimes difficult to realize these benefits in practice.” Blockchain or distributed ledger can be used for connecting different data stores. This can be very interesting. It can be challenging to realize these benefits in practice. It could be decentralized document signing within the organization or between your sub-legal entities. This would mean that you don't have to consult multiple lawyers and banks before starting a development project. This would simplify the process and make it easier and faster to start.

Scott Likens, PwC's technology leader, said that blockchain will be a key technology to preserve trust in the digital age. He said that it is extremely helpful to know everything is in order when dealings with other businesses. This includes being able to verify that all paperwork has been completed correctly, the products have been agreed upon, payments are being made on the due date, and that all parties are as they claim. Automating transactions with customers and partners will free you up to spend more time with them.

How will the blockchain disrupt industries?

These are some of the most popular uses for blockchain:

  • Financial services. Blockchain is being used by many startups to disrupt established players. These applications aim to, for instance, reduce the number of intermediaries in existing transaction processes such as stock exchanges and cross-border payments networks.

Their goal is to lower complexity and costs. According to Sandra Ro, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council, they are focusing their efforts on developing blockchain solutions that can counter fraud and protect data integrity. Banks and other financial institutions have been shocked by the results of this event. We are seeing companies invest in blockchain technology as they try to understand these advances and the potential consequences. This company is creating teams to understand the potential consequences of blockchain technology and investing in other companies to create common initiatives.

  • Healthcare. Healthcare.

Companies are seeking to develop blockchain-based healthcare apps that provide anonymized data pools for research companies, and new methods to detect counterfeit drugs.

  • Food. Blockchain-based solutions are being explored by some organizations that can bring together different industries using completely new business models. IBM has, for instance, partnered with Walmart to create a blockchain-based food safety program that connects growers, processors and distributors.

This project is a collaboration between several companies. The goal of the project is to create a permanent record of all food-system data that will make it easier and faster to trace produce from farm, to store. This system will facilitate investigations into contaminated foods and allow Walmart and its partners to easily identify the origin of the food and the conditions in which it was made. A transparent and accountable ecosystem can build consumer trust.

Conn stated that Salesforce anticipates more companies to use blockchain technology to create a shared data model that can increase value for customers. In the near future, I believe we will see many different companies from different industries working together with the customer first.

Prime Tech Partners President Shira Rubinoff

Shira Rubinoff is a cybersecurity and Blockchain advisor. She says that if companies concentrate on specific use cases that are relevant for their business and position in the market they will be able to decide whether investing in blockchain technology makes sense. To be successful, companies must have a clear understanding about the problem they are trying solve.

The post Blockchain: What is it? Super Blog: What is Blockchain? And Why Does It Matter?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a self-directed crypto IRA?

Self-directed CryptoIRAs are an investment vehicle that allows for you to invest directly in cryptocurrency without any tax. This means that you can earn money while avoiding paying taxes.

This also gives you greater flexibility in terms of investing as you can make investments at any time.

The best part is that you do not need to wait for the government to approve your plan. You can make your own plan and choose to invest in any cryptocurrency you like.

You can do this to avoid having to wait for approval by the IRS or the government. All you need to do is set aside funds in your account and let the money grow.

Profits can be withheld at any time. There is no limit to how much money you can withdraw each calendar year.

You can open two types of accounts: Roth IRA or Individual Retirement Account.

The difference is whether you pay income tax on your earnings or not. If you choose a traditional IRA, taxes will be assessed on your earnings. If you choose the Roth IRA however, you won’t have to pay any taxes on these earnings.

You can also invest in a Roth IRA in three different ways:

  1. Buy Bitcoin
  2. Invest In Stocks
  3. Invest in Real Estate

What is the main difference between a Roth IRA & a Traditional IRA.

Traditional IRAs make great savings for people who don’t want to take any risks but still need the money to pay for their retirement. A Roth IRA offers tax advantages over a traditional IRA because you pay taxes now instead of later. With a traditional IRA, your earnings grow tax-free until you retire, while with a Roth IRA, all your contributions are taxed when withdrawn.

If you have a high net worth and wish to avoid paying taxes, a Roth IRA could be a good option. You can contribute as much as you like without income limits.

A Roth IRA has a $1,000 minimum contribution. This is the biggest disadvantage. If you don't start contributing immediately, you could miss valuable tax benefits.

What is the optimal combination of Traditional and Roth IRAs, you ask? It all depends on the situation. It may be a good idea to have a Roth IRA if you plan on making a large amount of money once you retire. A Traditional IRA is better if you are expecting to make less.

These are some other things to consider when deciding between a Traditional or Roth IRA.

Taxes – Tax rates are dependent on where you live. In general, Uncle Sam will owe you a larger percentage of your earnings if your income is higher.

Income Limits: Traditional and Roth IRAs have two types of income limitations. Traditional IRAs require that your adjusted gross income must be below certain levels. AGI thresholds range from $110,000 for individuals who file jointly to $55,000 for those who file separately.

A Roth IRA requires income below certain levels. For most people, this level is currently $118,000 for joint filers and $59,000 for single filers.

These income thresholds can be changed at any time. You should consult your accountant to verify whether you qualify.

Contribution Amounts. In order to open a Traditional IRA, you will need to contribute a minimum $3,000 each year. The same applies to Roth IRAs.

Traditional IRAs are a good option if you haven't exhausted the benefits of your employer plan. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until next year to increase your contribution limit.

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Index funds are a great way to build wealth over time. But saving isn't just about building wealth — it's also about making sure you do it smartly. This is why we offer our clients an exclusive opportunity: the ability for them to invest in ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

ETFs allow you to access indexes like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 without having to purchase individual stocks. And because ETFs trade like stocks, they provide another layer of diversification. Not only will you pay lower fees when investing in mutual funds, but you also get access to more markets.

With automated monthly contributions, you won't have to worry about missing a payment and risking late fees. This allows you to rest easier knowing that your nest egg will not be lost because of a missed contribution deadline.

Is it a smart idea to have multiple Roth IRAs

Yes! You can save even more money by having multiple Roth IRAs. Each IRA can allow you to contribute $5500 annually if you meet certain requirements. This allows you to spread your risk among multiple accounts, thereby reducing the risk of losing everything in an unfortunate event.

How many IRAs is it possible to have?

One client wanted to know how many IRAs he could open all at once. He was worried about his ability manage them all. I explained that there were two types of IRA accounts – Traditional & Roth. One Roth account per person is permitted, although you can have multiple traditional IRAs. Because a Roth account doesn't have pre-tax contributions limits, it is not possible to have multiple traditional IRAs. Also, you can add as much money to a Roth account that you wish.

IRA rules differ from one state to another. To find out your options, check with your local bank or go online.


  • Gemini offers optional segregated cold storage for a fee of 0.40% (40 basis points) annualized, charged monthly, and deducted from the respective digital assets held in your account. (directedira.com)
  • A disqualified person includes (but is not limited to) yourself, your ancestors and lineal descendants, and any entity you own at least a 50% stake in. (irafinancialgroup.com)
  • 0.50% (50 basis points) per trade (directedira.com)
  • Your Gemini trading fees will be much higher (up to and above 1.5%) if you use the Gemini Mobile app or the Basic Gemini trade interface. (directedira.com)
  • The Crypto IRA fees consist of an Annual Account Fee charged by Directed IRA of $295, a 0.50% (50 basis points) per trade fee, and a one-time new account establishment fee of $50. (directedira.com)

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How To

How to invest in cryptocurrency via your retirement account

Investors who wish to diversify in the cryptocurrency market can look into investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. This article explains how you can do it from a traditional IRA.

CryptoCurrency uses cryptography to secure digital currencies. It's distributed by many computers all over the globe and has no centralization. Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin in 2008, making it the first cryptocurrency. In 2009, bitcoin's price rose to $0.03 US Dollars, and then plummeted to below $ 1 US Dollars. Since then, the value of one bitcoin has increased dramatically.

January 4, 2017, there were 1,000,000 bitcoins. Today, there is more than 16,000,000 bitcoins available. Bitcoins can be stored online in a public ledger known as “blockchain”. Transactions are when someone sends bitcoins to another person digitally without having to go through a bank. No centralized authority controls them; instead, they are managed collectively by users on the blockchain.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most widely used cryptocurrencies. They are completely different. For example, Bitcoin is used mainly for payments, while Etherium runs smart contracts.

These two currencies are not the only ones that are available. There are many new currencies being created every day. Some people think Bitcoin will eventually replace fiat money, so they expect its value to rise further. Some believe that Bitcoin's success will lead to a lot more innovation and development in blockchain technology. This includes cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Others speculate that there might even be another type of currency. It could replace traditional currencies like cryptocurrencies.

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