On the Origins and Variations of Blockchain Technologies

  title={On the Origins and Variations of Blockchain Technologies},
  author={Alan T. Sherman and Farid Javani and Haibin Zhang and Enis Golaszewski},
  journal={IEEE Security \& Privacy},
We explore the origins of blockchain technologies to better understand the enduring needs they address. We identify the five key elements of a blockchain, show the embodiments of these elements, and examine how these elements come together to yield important properties in selected systems. To facilitate comparing the many variations of blockchains, we also describe the four crucial roles of common blockchain participants. Our historical exploration highlights the 1979 work of David Chaum, whose… 

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