A beginners’ guide to blockchain
Blockchain is Incent’s secret sauce – the technology that makes it all possible. But what even is a blockchain, anyway?
To help you out, we’ve put together a beginners guide to blockchain technology. Hopefully, this brief Q&A will shed a little light on the subject.
Q: So what is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a database – a bit like the databases that websites like Facebook and Amazon use to store your login and password, plus any other information about you. Or, going back a bit further, it’s not so very different from a filing cabinet. It’s a system for storing and finding information.
Q: But it’s more than that, right?
Yes. A blockchain is a special kind of database. Anyone can create an account and use it, without needing permission from anyone else (like Facebook or another company). And once you’ve made an entry to the database, no one else can change it.
Q: So everything you record in the database is there forever?
That’s right. Everything written to the blockchain is permanent. No one can delete it, tamper with it, close your account or anything else. The only person in control of your account is you.
Q: Why is this better than a regular database?
Blockchain is a different way of doing things, not necessarily better or worse in all circumstances. It gives control back to the user – you’re not reliant on a third party website or service, and you don’t have to worry about that company approving or denying everything you do. When it comes to money, we believe it’s better to give that control to the user rather than to a bank, payment processor, or any other kind of third party. It’s your money, after all.
Q: So how do I create an account on the blockchain?
There are lots of different blockchains (Incent uses the Waves blockchain) but the process is the same. You just need a private key, which is like a complicated password. The ‘wallet’ app you use will generate that for you – it’s basically a long string of random characters or 12 to 15 random words. That’s enough that no computer will be able to guess it, no matter how powerful. Your account or ‘address’ is generated from that private key, and no one can access your account without the key.
Q: So I have to keep that key very safe?
If you lose the key, you lose access to the account and any funds in it – and if someone else finds your key, they can move your tokens. So you have to back up and store your private key securely. But you won’t need one to use Incent unless you want to. Everything happens on our platform, which works in the regular way – with a username, password and other security checks, just like Facebook. If you want to withdraw your Incent tokens off the platform, you can create your own Waves account using the mobile phone app or other wallets, and have full control of your Incent. We think this offers a good balance between usability and security for all users. Basically, you get to choose whether you store your Incent, or we do (we’re fully compliant with a state of the art IT security protocol, so your Incent are safe with us).
Incent’s Waitlist is currently live, with a full launch planned for July. Consumers will be rewarded in Incent tokens on every spend they make. To find out more, visit www.incent.com.
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