What Is the Difference Between Blockchain and Cryptocurrency?

By Swati Kishore

As awareness about Bitcoin and Distributed Ledger Technologies grows, one of the most common questions that comes to people’s minds is if Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are the same thing or if they are different.

Bitcoin Vs. Blockchain

Let’s begin to answer this question by differentiating between Bitcoin and Blockchain. Yes, they are different things! While Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency (which was invented in 2008 by a person/group of people by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto), Blockchain, on the other hand is the technology that underpins the Bitcoin. In fact, we can safely say that Bitcoin is the one of the first and the most famous innovations of Blockchain. Bitcoin’s surge meant that people started using the terms ‘Bitcoin’, and ‘Blockchain’ interchangeably, and hence came the confusion between the two.

Bitcoin came into existence in 2008, when it was released as an unregulated, digital currency that was free from governmental regulations and control. As it gradually gained popularity, the term ‘cryptocurrency’ also came to be well-known. The primary aim when developing a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin was to eliminate third parties or central authorities, thereby also making transactions faster and reducing the associated fees. Such a digital currency necessitated the need of a technology that would ensure secure transactions.  This is where Blockchain technology came into play. The distributed ledger technology worked on a p2p network that was anonymous and public- hence it facilitated secure transactions.

Blockchain goes beyond cryptocurrency

As explained above, Blockchain is the underlying technology, and cryptocurrencies are just one of the applications of this revolutionary tech. Blockchain has many far-reaching use cases. The DLT technology can be applied across a wide range of assets as well as industries such as real estate, food products, cars, logistics, and more. Take the case of Everledger, the global emerging technology enterprise utilizes Blockchain to trace the origins of luxury assets. It is done to eliminate fraud and wipe out malicious practices such as tampering with information and documents.

Also when comparing Bitcoin with Blockchain, we can easily come  to the conclusion that Blockchain has a better reputation since Bitcoin has been used to conduct many illegal trades and frauds. While they have not been very welcoming of cryptocurrencies, financial institutions across the world have expressed their interest in deploying Blockchain technology across their banking processes.

When it concerns versatility, there is also a huge disparity between Bitcoin and Blockchain. For example, while Blockchain offers multiple features, on the other hand, Bitcoin can only be used for digital cash transactions. Bitcoin is also not regulated which makes the cryptocurrency unacceptable in many countries around the world. When it comes to Blockchain, however, the tech is being readily deployed across industries- from logistics, to education, to healthcare- in different nations.

To sum it up, we can say that Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that can be compared to the internet. Just like the advent of the internet transformed the world, Blockchain will also revolutionise the way humans transact with each other by stirring up a value exchange revolution. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is only an innovation based on the distributed ledger tech.

Swati Kishore

Swati has a keen interest in emerging technologies and she loves to write about them. She loves trance and is also interested in the philosophy of life.

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