For the most technical people, the very basic concept of blockchain is the cryptographic algorithm. By a scientific point of view, an SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) transforms virtualy any text or string of fonts in a string of hexadecimal numbers.
The number of available strings on an SHA-256, that makes trillions or quintillions small numbers. So, virtually everything can be translated into SHA. Next to SHA-256, SHA-512 involves just 512 bits so the number of available slots is 2^512, difficult to be imagined.
What matter to us this difficult concept?
If I write a string now, like "Hello", I can easily translate it into "185F8DB32271FE25F561A6FC938B2E264306EC304EDA518007D1764826381969". This is the first block. If next I want to say "Hello Manuel", the new text will be translated into "E13D4402165275B29CC458297597F733C3C42EBF18B79092F6E573855AF6556A". If I want to add a ".", so Hello Manuel. , the text is again translated in a different way : "D0E85DAE75B2EC3FC2966668F4A80FEAAA8CA6631B78F1AFDC374EE7D94EFDAC".
Is it a game?
Well, consider that each block is composed by itself (example "Manuel") and the block that was before ("Hello"), each change is consequently tracked.
Somebody transformed blockchain into a money game (have your heard about Bitcoin?), but what matters for industry is not a game of money, it's the possibility to keep track of all information. As example, an important multionational in food and beverage has decided to move all expiry date of all food products from barcodes to blockchain: no more possibilitite to change.
What if in the future all proprietary communication will travel across blockchain?
What if process instrumentation can exchange their diagnostics data with Emerson using a blockchain?
What if an user of a DCS can be remotely notified by a message upon blockchain?
Security. Exchange of information will be finally granted by the true knowledge of where the information is going and who uses it. It's a vision, it's something new. Is it something we have to consider for our future?
Maurizio De Francesco