What is a blockchain?

Home Crypto Basic What is a blockchain?

Digital and Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etheruem operate on a system called the “Blockchain”. The easiest way to understand this is to consider a blockchain as an inventory or ledger of transactions accessible by anyone. The Bitcoin blockchain as a primary example contains transactional information regarding each time someone sends or receives crypto. 


Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that powers them facilitates and makes possible the transfer of value online without the need of any centralised entity such as a bank, or a credit card company.


The Blockchain allows for a global, open alternative to every financial service currently available, easily accessible by anyone using an internet connection and a device such as a smartphone or computer.. 


The majority of all cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other “Alt Coins”, are safely secured via blockchain networks. This means that their accuracy is constantly monitored and authenticated by a huge amount of networked computing power. 


  • The catalog of transactions contained in a blockchain is important for most of the cryptocurrencies, because it enables safe and secure deals to be made in-between strangers without the need of a third-party verifier like the bank.
  • Because of the cryptographic nature of other networks, transactions through blockchains can be more on the safe side than a standard transaction like debit/credit payments can offer. In the event of a bitcoin payment, you do not need to present any personal information. This means zero percent chance of you getting your information leaked or your identity stolen. 
  • Blockchain technology is intriguing for its many uses beyond cryptocurrency. They are also utilized to explore further in medical research, enhance the accuracy of healthcare records, streamline supply chains and many more. 

Because of the cryptographic nature of these networks, transactions using blockchain have been deemed to be safer than standard ways of transaction.


What are the advantages of blockchain?

  • They’re worldwide: This simply implies that cryptocurrencies can be easily sent to the otherside of the planet real quick
  • They’re more secure: Cryptocurrency transactions do not require you to put your private information, which in turn protects you from being compromised.
  • They’re public: Every transaction on a cryptocurrency network is published publicly in the form of the blockchain, thus, anyone can check and verify them leaving no room for illegal, unjust acts. The software that regulates the core of these currencies is a free and open source which can be reviewed by anyone at any time. 

Key Questions

What’s the main advantage blockchains have over the old financial system?

You spend most of your financial life on the internet, from shopping to investing. Notice that every single one of those needs a third-party payment system like banks, credit/debit card, paymaya and many more. Blockchain removes those restrictions allowing transactions to happen without the need of a middleman and without the added cost and effort. 

Is bitcoin a blockchain?

Bitcoin is a form of electronic money. The system that makes it possible is called blockchain. 

How many kinds of blockchains are there? 

Thousands of them exist, varying from the ones powering Bitcoin, Litecoin, Tezos, and many other digital currencies to those that have nothing to do with digital money.

How does a blockchain work?

Imagine the chain from a ship’s anchor. Instead, every link on the chain is a bunch of data that contains transaction lists. At the top of it, you will see what happened today, and as you go deeper, you’ll find older transactions. If you follow it all the way down at the bottom of the harbor, you will see every single transaction in the history of that cryptocurrency. This provides blockchain a powerful security advantage: It is a public, clear record of a cryptocurrency’s history. If anyone attempts manipulating a transaction, the link will break, leaving the entire network to see. That is blockchain in a nutshell.

    • Another way people often describe the blockchain is that its ledger (sometimes the terms “distributed ledger” or “immutable ledger” are used) is the equivalence of a balance sheet in banks. Similar to a bank’s ledger, the blockchain tracks all the money flowing in and out, and through the network itself. 
    • But contrary to a bank’s book, a crypto blockchain is not maintained by a single individual or organization — In fact, it is not centralized — Instead, a large peer-to-peer network of computers running open-source software, the accuracy of the blockchain is always checked and secured by the network.
  • Where does cryptocurrency come from? In the case of bitcoin, it comes around every ten minutes — a new block of transactions is added to the chain. As compensation for contributing power to maintain the blockchain, the network rewards the party with a small amount of crypto. 
  • Distribution of crypto blockchain across the digital currency’s whole network. Anyone is free to participate; no one is controlling it. 
  • The network itself always checks and secures the accuracy of the blockchain.

Key Questions 

How do you send and receive money over a blockchain?

  • Each user has a unique address given by the network which is made up of a private and public key. Money can be sent by anyone using your public key which works similar to an email address. When you want to spend your money, you use the private key which works like your password to sign deals digitally. Wallet is a software where you can easily manage your crypto, which can be acquired via an exchange like coinbase. 

Who invented blockchain?

Satoshi Nakamoto is an individual/group who published — under that name — a whitepaper online explaining the principles of a new digital money called Bitcoin in the late 2008’s. Ever since the idea from that paper was laid out, the world of cryptocurrency evolved. 

  • Nakamoto’s objective was to create digital money that would allow online transactions between two people anywhere in the world without the need of a third-party payment processor in the middle. 
  • This has required a system that would eliminate the issue of the possibility of “double spending”. This is the case in which a person can use the same money several times. To resolve the issue, the networks constantly verify the movement of bitcoin; The network is called blockchain. 
  • Bitcoin transactions is sorted and verified through a worldwide network of computers beyond any human control (Company or Country)
  • The database that holds all of that information is called the blockchain. Bitcoins are mined through a huge decentralized (peer-to-peer) network of computers, which can also verify and secure the accuracy of the blockchain constantly. As an exchange for contributing to their computing power, the party is rewarded with few amounts of crypto. 
  • Each bitcoin transaction can be seen on the ledger, with new data periodically gathered together in a chain or block which is added to all the blocks before.
  • The miners’ collective computing power is utilized to ensure the accuracy of the ledger. Bitcoin cannot exist apart from the blockchain; each new bitcoin is registered on it, as with each transaction with all existing coins. 
  • As a reward for contributing their computing power to the blockchain, the party is given small amounts of crypto.

What’s the future of blockchains?

The idea of blockchain has turned out to be a platform that a large amount of applicants can be built on top of. 

It’s still a new and rapid developing technology, however, many experts have described blockchain’s potential to change how we do things, similar to the potential public internet protocols like HTML before. 

  • The Bitcoin cash and Litecoin blockchains work almost as similar to the original bitcoin blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain is a further evolution of the ledger. Unlike bitcoin blockchain, it is not designed to manage digital money alone (Ethereum is a cryptocurrency which can be used to send value to other people). Think of it as a powerful and flexible computing platform that allows coders to build all kinds of applications easily.
  • Take for example, picture a charity  that desires to send money to thousands of people daily for about a year; Ethereum would only take a few lines of codes. Or maybe you are a game developer who seeks to create items such as swords and defensive armors that can be traded outside. Ethereum is designed to do such things. 

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