When I tell people I work in crypto, I’m often asked, “What’s blockchain?” I usually give a high-level response including words like ledger, peer-to-peer, and immutable. But I recently came across an analogy that I may start to test.

Blockchain is like Chicken McNuggets.

Before I let your imagination wander too far, allow me to complete author and blockchain expert Don Tapscott's, now famous comparison.

“Blockchain is a highly processed thing, sort of like a Chicken McNugget and if you wanted to hack, it’d be like turning a Chicken McNugget back into a chicken.”

Let’s take a closer look...

Blockchain technology is being integrated into virtually every major industry. This week alone, I came across blockchain news covering cross-border payments, agriculture, global trading, and more.

Here are just a few of the headlines that caught my attention; Western Union partners with Thunes to explore cross-border payment solution using blockchain,” “Colorado Lawmakers Seek Exploration of Blockchain Use in Agriculture,” and “China’s Alibaba Partners With Chinese Software Giant to Promote Blockchain Development.

So, what do these have to do with your happy meal? Let’s use Alibaba’s announcement to illustrate Tapscott’s point. According to CoinTelegraph, the global trading giant is planning to implement blockchain technology for complex cross-border supply chains.

It’s likely that the company now stores its supply chain data in one centralized, hackable place. Putting this data, or any data for that matter, on a blockchain makes it extremely secure. With blockchain, information is distributed across thousands of servers and divided into an infinite series of blocks that are recorded and verified on an immutable ledger.

Without blockchain, their centralized database is essentially a sitting duck (or in this case, chicken), vulnerable to attacks and fraud. But, when it’s put on a blockchain, it becomes so decentralized that it’s exponentially more difficult to hack. Just as difficult as it would be to make an ultra-processed McNugget a chicken again.

I’ll admit, the analogy isn’t without flaws. But, it’s a fun way to dive deeper into a conversation about blockchain and its many benefits.

How do you define blockchain?


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