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made corrections and expansion of the blockchain section at the top of the page. Gave better description of blockchain, including some historical perspective with links. Added section on blockchain research.
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A '''blockchain''' is a distributed permissionless database based on the the model pioneered by the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin bitcoin] protocol.
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A '''blockchain''' is a distributed ledger in which transactions are incorporated into cryptographically secure blocks. This allows a trustless, peer-to-peer method for achieving consensus, and was a solution to a long standing unsolved problem in computer science known as the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_fault_tolerance Byzantine Generals Problem]. A valid chain is one which at least 51% of the network agrees is the longest. Computations supporting the network are performed by 'miners', programs which maintain a copy of the longest chain and use brute force computation to discover the next block, which will be some cryptographic [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographic_hash_function hash function] that satisfies the encrypted header of the previous block, for bitcoin this function is [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2 SHA-2], other cryptocurrencies use different functions, for example Litecoin uses [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrypt Scrypt]. Blockchain was first described by [https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Satoshi Nakamoto] in 2009 and applied to the bitcoin protocol. Distributed currency grew from the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypherpunk cypherpunk] movement in the 1980s and 1990s and is a successor to the earlier [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashcash hashcach] system.
    
== Network ==
 
== Network ==
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[http://www.coindesk.com/block-chain-technology-digital-democracy/ Transparent voting systems] has been proposed with this technology.
 
[http://www.coindesk.com/block-chain-technology-digital-democracy/ Transparent voting systems] has been proposed with this technology.
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== Blockchain Research ==
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Blockchain technology is potentially one of the most powerful methods for achieving trustless, distributed consensus. Its ability to transparently show cryptographically secure decisions has applications to contracts, law, and government. Original, peer-reviewed, research articles on technical and social aspects of blockchain technology can be found in the open-access journal [https://ledgerjournal.org/ojs/index.php/ledger/index Ledger]. 
    
== Bitcoin ==
 
== Bitcoin ==
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