Pub. online:1 Jan 2019Type:Research ArticleOpen Access
Volume 30, Issue 4 (2019), pp. 729–748
In this paper, we present the progress of blockchain technology from the advent of the original publication titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” written by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, until the current days. Historical background and a comprehensive overview of the blockchain technology are given. We provide an up-to-date comparison of the most popular blockchain platforms with particular emphasis given to consensus protocols. Additionally, we introduce a BlockLib, an extensively growing online library on blockchain platforms collected from the various sources and designed to enable contributions from the blockchain community. Main directions of the current blockchain research, facing challenges as well as the main fields of applications, are summarized. We also layout the possible future lines in the blockchain technology development.