What is a blockchain
A simple but revolutionary technology
A blockchain is a type of database that is shared among different computers in a network. This type of database is very secure and helps to keep track of important information.
A special kind of database
People usually use blockchains when they want to keep track of crypto asset transactions, such as Bitcoin. The unique selling point of a blockchain is that it doesn't need a third party to help with security and trust.
What makes a blockchain different from a conventional database is how data is organized. The blockchain keeps information in groups known as blocks. Blocks contain data and have specific storage capacities.
When these blocks are filled with data, they are sealed and connected to the previously occupied block to create a chain of data called the blockchain. Any information that comes after that, is added to a new block, and that will also be added to the chain when it's full.
This process repeats itself, creating an ever-growing chain of data. The resulting blockchain is essentially a history of all the data that has been added to it.
This structure has a number of advantages. First, it is much more difficult for hackers to corrupt or tamper with the data because they would need to not only gain access to a single block but all the blocks that come after it in the chain, which becomes increasingly difficult as the blockchain grows.
Second, this structure allows for greater transparency and immutability. Because each block is linked to the one before it, it is easy to trace back the history of the data and see who added what and when. This makes it nearly impossible to tamper with the data without anyone noticing.
Lastly, the decentralized nature of blockchains means that there is no central point of control or failure. Even if one node in the network goes down, the rest can continue to function unaffected. This makes them much more resilient than traditional centralized databases.
These properties make blockchains well-suited for storing data that needs to be secure, transparent, and immutable. This makes them ideal for a wide range of applications, such as financial transactions, identity management, provenance tracking, and much more.