What the hell is the blockchain?
So, You’ve just heard about the blockchain? You heard it mentioned while looking into Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto or the Silk Road and now you’re thinking, what on earth is this all about?
Well, buckle in for a ‘scratch the surface’ explanation of the blockchain.
Reported to have been invented by a person going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, the blockchain, and more famously Bitcoin, was was drafted in a white paper way back in 2008. You can read it here: https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-paper
In regards to what the blockchain is, we don’t really care about what bitcoin is. The blockchain is so much more than bitcoin.
In its simplest form
A blockchain is simply a list of records that are linked from record to record using cryptography. These records are called blocks and are the essence of the blockchain.
Each block is linked to its previous block using virtually impossible to hack cryptographic hashes. The sending party initiates a transaction, this block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of nodes around the globe. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history. Once created, a block cannot be altered retroactively without the need of altering of all the blockchains subsequent blocks.
Why is is so good?
Well, the beauty is in its decentralised peer-to-peer network design. And for us dummies, all the means is that unlike say, a credit card company, where they have their own banks of computers to process all of their own data in the way they want to, a blockchain network is a huge amount of computers spread all over the globe with hundreds, if not thousands of ‘nodes’ contributing to it. Therefore, attempting to forge 1 record for malicious purposes is basically impossible
You can read more here: https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/