What is this Blockchain Thing?
David Siegel

Hi David,

Thanks for the article, and the other resources. I have been slowly trying to wrap my head around blockchain technology and as basic as my knowledge currently is, I feel like I’m making some progress :)

I had a question regarding this ‘network of miners’ that seems to be the basis of maintaining this ‘shared ledger’. Now say that ‘a shared ledger’ is stored among a network of 100 miners. These 100 miners are paid a few cents for their services:

  • Does that mean that these miners are contractually obligated to keep their machines running 24*7? (would there even be a contract involved for that matter?)
  • Talking about machines, could this machine simply be my little laptop that I am writing this message from?
  • What if all these miners decide to, hypothetically, shut down their systems at the same time? What happens to the ledger in that case?

To sum it up, my question mostly is that, if data is encrypted, broken and distributed between several ‘servers’ so to say, how does one ensure, the reliability of all these ‘servers’ that are working together.

I hope I managed to make sense.

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