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SAS | The Power to Know

What it is and why it matters

A blockchain is a type of data store that stores anything of digital value. Each new transaction is stored in a block that gets added to a chain of existing records. A typical blockchain duplicates data across an open network so all parties in the blockchain see updates simultaneously, and all updates are validated through a public verification process that ensures accuracy without the need for a central authority, like a bank.

History of Blockchain

The technology behind blockchain data stores and workflows has been around since the 1990s. Bitcoin was the first full blockchain implementation. Created in 2008 and released to open source in 2009, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital asset and payment system with no single point of failure.

Earlier attempts to create a digital currency system failed because digital transactions could be copied, allowing users to spend money more than once. Bitcoin solved the double spending problem with blockchain’s universal ledger and confirmation processes.

Blockchain offered Bitcoin a fixed set of mechanical rules so transactions can take place between private users without intermediaries. As Bitcoin rose to popularity, other digital currencies quickly followed with blockchain implementations of their own. Each new, successful implementation of the connected technology has led others to take note, causing an explosion of interest in blockchain across industries and applications.

Different types of blockchain

Not all blockchains are the same. Several current cryptocurrencies (also known as digital currencies) started with the Bitcoin code base, and many use the same blockchain. For example, Bitcoin and Litecoin use the same binary format for the blockchain but differ in the cryptography and consensus approaches. Zcash is a cryptocurrency that is based on an earlier version of Bitcoin but made major changes to support added anonymity and privacy. Permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger, Chain, R3 Corda and BigchainDB use an underlying NoSQL database to store the blockchain data. Permissioned or private blockchains appoint authority to specific parties in the network to authenticate blockchain transactions through an access layer. While private blockchains do not require a consensus process, they are less disruptive because they depend more on a built-in authority.

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Blockchain in Today's World

Because blockchain solves many issues of privacy and security, its use is increasing where data security is a concern.

Blockchain for health care

When blockchain is used in a health care setting, each event in a patient’s care cycle generates a new “block” of information that’s complete, permanent and can’t be modified. Events might be medical record updates, payment transactions or phone calls to a nurse. This type of approach puts control of a patient’s private records in the hands of the patient, as opposed to many health care providers.

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Blockchain analytics for IoT

As blockchain use increases, more organizations will need to access and analyze the data, even as it grows in complexity and volume. How do you apply analytics to data in this new format? And how can you analyze private data as it streams into blockchain? This post includes a practical example of analyzing blockchain data generated by the Internet of Things.

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What about cybersecurity and fraud?

Public blockchains for cryptocurrencies are under significant pressure to address topics such as anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud. With the surging market value of cryptocurrencies, regulatory pressures are increasing all over the world. The way we handle Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now will inform how we handle blockchain implementations in the future.

Change how you tackle fraud

Blockchain: What It's Not

Given its potential, few terms are more hyped than blockchain. To understand its business applications, however, it’s important to understand not only what blockchain is, but also what it isn’t.

Blockchain is not just Bitcoin. Though originally associated with online currencies, blockchain is not solely a Bitcoin technology or just an internet sensation. It has broader appeal across industries, and is being used as a secure data network for many markets, including supply chain and food safety solutions.

Blockchain is more than a database . At a high level, a blockchain is a protocol that describes how transactions are defined, connected, transmitted and collected. The blockchain includes processes that provide consensus for updating the data store. While blockchain is not technically a database, many blockchain implementations do use a key/value database as their data store, so the data is encrypted as part of the system. Likewise, permissioned or private blockchains do operate as operational data stores that are appended at each step of a transactional process.

What makes blockchain special?

Learn more about distributed trust and the consensus mechanism in blockchain from Oliver Schabenberger, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer of SAS. "Blockchain actually has a record of historically accurate, validated transactions that everybody in the chain agrees upon," he explains.

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This technology can help to address many challenges of the enterprise boundary, such as:

IntellectEU Builds on Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service

As a founding member of Hyperledger, IntellectEU was looking for an enterprise blockchain implementation to build their solutions on. Through Oracle’s Industry Solutions group, they found Oracle's Open Banking platform and Blockchain Cloud Service.

Oracle and Accenture Bring Innovative Blockchain Capabilities to Clients
—David Treat, Managing Director, Global Blockchain Practice, Accenture
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The Benefits of Blockchain

Blockchain disrupts the complex and time-consuming process of business-to-business transactions with an alternative that’s transparent, verifiable, and tamper-proof. The benefits for today’s businesses include:

Fewer Intermediaries

Faster, More Automated Processes

Reduced Costs

Faster Automation

Increased Visibility

Enhanced Security

Industries with Emerging Blockchain Use Cases

Banking and Finance

Know your customer, clearing and settlement, trade finance, domestic and cross-border payments, loan origination and post-funding automation, and anti-money laundering.


Design IP protection, product history tracking, production process assurance, and recalls management.


Student transcript validation and transfer, educator credentialing, and payment of federal/state funds or private grants.

Media and Entertainment

Direct payment to content creators, digital asset security, and know your customer.

Government and Public Sector

Improve welfare distribution, mitigate double taxation, get infrastructure protection, and record of ownership.

Retail and eCommerce

Increase transparency of histories of products, reduction of counterfeit goods, warranty adjudication, and supply chain management modernization.

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical

Serialized track/trace of drugs, digital regulatory submission, clinical trial management, and privacy and sharing of patient health records.

Supply Chain

Supply chain finance, track and trace point of origin, ownership transfer, compliance monitoring.


Transactional processing between insurers and investors, claims automation, and fraudulent claims reduction.


Asset management, certification of renewable energy and emission allowances, and metering and billing of electricity consumption.

Blockchain Versus Centralized Databases

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that can be directly shared by a group of nontrusting parties—without requiring a central administrator. In contrast, a traditional (SQL or NoSQL) database is controlled by a single entity. It’s an important difference that means:

Hyperledger and Blockchain

Hyperledger is an open source project started by the Linux Foundation to advance cross-industry collaboration of blockchain technologies. As part of its commitment to help enterprises realize the benefits of blockchain, Oracle has joined this global effort. By leveraging open sources and maintaining interoperability with core protocols, Oracle will enable customers to drive the direction and pace of integration across business systems.

Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is a new offering that is part of Oracle’s comprehensive platform-as-a service (PaaS) portfolio. Delivered by the world’s most scalable, distributed transaction processing platform provider, Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is the most comprehensive distributed ledger cloud platform.

Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy . Its head of state is the prince, who succeeds to the throne by heredity through the male line as determined by the regulations of the princely house. The constitution of 1921 provides for a unicameral Landtag (Diet), which consists of 25 members elected to four-year terms. The traditional regions of Vaduz and Schellenberg are still recognized as unique regions—the Upper Country (Oberland) and the Lower Country (Unterland), respectively—and they form separate electoral districts. All citizens age 18 or older who live in the principality are eligible to vote in national elections.

The government consists of a prime minister and four other cabinet officials (with at least two officials from each of the two electoral districts), who are appointed by the prince on the recommendation of the Landtag. The 11 Gemeinden (communes) are governed autonomously—but under government supervision—by mayors and city councils, elected every three years. To the south, the more industrial Upper Country contains the communes of Vaduz, Balzers, Triesen, Triesenberg, Schaan, and Planken. The Lower Country, to the north, is divided into the communes of Eschen, Mauren, Gamprin, Ruggell, and Schellenberg. The government maintains a Explore Limited Edition Cheap Online Lanvin Metallic RoundToe Flats Shop Offer Sale Online s7DqHmjFi6
police force, but the standing army was abolished and neutrality proclaimed in 1868 (defense of the principality is the responsibility of Switzerland).

Liechtenstein has no natural resources of commercial value, and virtually all raw materials, including wood, have to be imported. All of the principality’s forested areas are protected in order to maintain the ecology of the mountain slopes and to guard against erosion. There is no heavy industry, but small manufacturing concerns are spread throughout the principality. Production includes metalworking, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments, electronic equipment, food processing , and the manufacture of consumer goods. In 1921 Liechtenstein adopted the Swiss franc as its currency, and in 1923 it joined a customs union with Switzerland.

Few workers are employed in agriculture, but the average farming unit is fairly large, and the biggest concerns concentrate on livestock and dairying. Crops include corn, potatoes, and cereals. Vineyards are few and are split into small units. The Alpine slopes are used for grazing during the summer.

Liechtenstein: Major import sources

Tourism is a leading sector of Liechtenstein’s economy and is sponsored by the government. Most visitors come from the surrounding European countries and centre their activities on Vaduz. The registration of tens of thousands of foreign firms in Liechtenstein provides a source of tax income. The principality has also become a centre of banking because of its stable political situation and its laws providing absolute bank secrecy. In the late 20th century, however, Liechtenstein became a centre for money laundering , and its laws were subsequently altered to prohibit the opening of accounts anonymously. Pressure from the United States and the European Union (EU) led to the reform of the banking sector in the early 21st century, and the country worked to shed its image as a tax haven.

What does Gemütlichkeit literally translate as?

What does literally translate as?

The adjective“gemütlich” means ‘cosy/comfortable’, and by adding “keit” onto the end it becomes a noun meaning “the feeling of comfort/cosiness”. Interestingly, the noun Gemüt in gemütlich is also quite difficult to accurately translate: broadly speaking, it refers to mood and feeling.

How can you use it in a sentence?

Using the adjective, you can say “So gemütlich wie Zuhause wird es nie hier“, meaning something like „It will never be as cosy/comfortable here as it is at home”.

What is the nearest English equivalent?

It translates to “cosiness” or “comfort”, but those words aren’t adequate because they are too simple for the concept of Gemütlichkeit .

Sind deutsche Weihnachtsmärkte gemütlich? Are German Christmas markets gemütlich? Photo by Adelina Horn on

Interesting facts:

Gemütlichkeit Days

Fremdscham: Second-hand embarassment

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Sadistic pleasure, sadism

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Doghouse key (related to being ‘in the doghouse’), peace offering

Please feel free to add any more. Until next time!

Also – hooray for Germany in the football!!

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Tags: gemuetlichkeit , Language , nouns , translation , untranslatable german

About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze. I'm half English and half German. I write here because I'm passionate about my languages and my roots. I also work as a translator group fitness instructor.

Years ago I learned a German nursery rhyme called “Hänchen klein” and there was a part that said “Stock und Hut steht ihn gut / ist gar wohl gemüt.” I never understood what gemüt meant, and my German teacher did a poor job explain it. I’ve been hung up on it for years but this finally explains it; it makes so much sense now! Thank you!


@Zach I think I remember that song from my own childhood!! I’m so glad that my post helped you to understand that word a little better. Thank you for your comment.

Jens Tröger:

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