a blockchain it is a technology of storage and transmission of information, taking the form of a database. That’s a simple and clear definition, but it’s of no use to you if you don’t know what a database is. So to really know what a blockchain is, it’s helpful to first understand how databases work.
Database is a Large amount of data stored, organized and structured to be interrogated by software. Users can search and filter this information to find the specific item they are looking for. Databases are used everywhere in the real world, including in banks, which use them to store account and transaction information.
But not all databases work the same way. In some databases, information can be changed or edited by a central authority or by anyone authorized to do so.
Part of what make a blockchain different form database is that the data in each block cannot be updated after it is added to the chain. So when a new piece of information is added, a new block is created instead of modifying an old block.
Blockchains essentially work like large digital books and have a number of different uses. In this article, we’ll focus on blockchain technology, which underlies popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and adds a layer of security and transparency that is essential for cryptocurrencies to function.
What is blockchain technology?
The blockchain technology that underlies many popular cryptocurrencies is sometimes referred to as distributed ledger technology (DLT). However, a blockchain is just a type of distributed ledger and works in a specific way that does not necessarily apply to other types of decentralized databases. If one wanted to sum up the essence of blockchain technology in a single word, that word might be “security.”
In fact, blockchain technology provides a way to store information that makes it nearly impossible to alter or manipulate.
How does the blockchain work?
in a blockchain, the data is stored in blocks. Each of these blocks contains a specific group of data. When a new block of information is added, it is time-stamped and chained to the previous one in a linear way, which gives the “blockchain”.This chain structure is a crucial element that distinguishes a blockchain from other types of databases. To understand how the chain itself works, it is important to understand three key elements that are contained in each block of a blockchain.
Each block contains:
– Its own hash code. A hashcode is essentially an alphanumeric representation of data. A block’s hashcode is unique to that block and changes when any of its underlying data changes in any way.
– The hash code of the block that precedes it in the chain. This hash serves as a reference that keeps the blocks in a linear and chronological order. If each block references the unique hash of the block that precedes it, the chain remains intact. And remember, when the information in a block changes, so does the hash.
– A timestamp. This timestamp indicates when the block was created, which also helps keep the chain in chronological order.
These three elements work together to ensure that the blocks in a blockchain are immutable, meaning they cannot be changed. If someone tried to change a block, the hash value and timestamp of that block would change. The next block in the chain will no longer contain the hash of the previous block, and it will soon become obvious that the blockchain has been altered.