What Is Blockchain
Also referred to as distributed ledger technology, for a bare-bones explanation, the blockchain is a record of data that can be accessed by anyone. Let’s take a more in-depth look at this;
Despite having other uses, the blockchain is generally associated with cryptocurrencies. Even offshoots such as BitcoinZtech, a crypto savings platform utilize the blockchain to store crypto assets.
The concept was first established in 1991 but did not experience real-world application until 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin and launched the first operative blockchain network. To date, the bitcoin blockchain network is one of the most popular in existence and blockchain technology remains the foundation of nearly the entire crypto industry.
Features of the Blockchain
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
As stated earlier, the blockchain can be described as a distributed ledger, this is one of the technology’s 2 core properties. In this system, information is stored digitally across a network of computers known as nodes. Being stored this way means the records are decentralized.
Each node holds a copy of the ledger thus the records are not controlled by a single entity or institution. This is an important component of the crypto space as it allows for immutability which is the second core feature of a blockchain.
Records cannot be tampered with because the changes would first have to be verified across all the nodes to be updated in the blockchain. The term blockchain quite literally describes the structure of these records. Information is stored in a series of linked blocks; a chain of blocks. As new transactions occur, all pertinent details are added to complete a block on the chain, and the data cannot be altered, once this is done a new block is created.
The blockchain helps solidify the reliability of cryptocurrency because it implements smart contracts. These are predetermined conditions that must be fulfilled for users to complete any operations or transactions on the blockchain.
Types of Blockchain
There are 2 main types of blockchains, public and private blockchains.
A public blockchain grants access to all individuals. The network is open for anyone to view the data and participate, popular examples include the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.
Private or permissioned blockchains are governed by entities who have the authority to decide who accesses the network. Without permission, a private blockchain is restricted. An example of this is Hyperledger.
The blockchain is on course to remain an integral part of finance and technology generally. It allows for transparency and global access in addition to preserving user privacy. Blockchain networks are also more efficient and secure, all of these features are key requirements in just about any sector.