Blockchain Technology: An Introduction

Since the 30th of August in 2011, Blockchain has gone on to become a global buzzword. The Blockchain is commonly introduced as the innovation that cryptocurrencies were launched on. Just like a rail way to a train, it is the infrastructure for cryptocurrencies.

Even though cryptocurrencies were launched on the Blockchain, its relevance is not limited to this. The Blockchain has a wide range of applicability.

This article explains the very first things one should know about the Blockchain technology;

  • What it is exactly
  • Properties of the Blockchain technology
  • Practical Applicability

Let’s dig in.

What It Is Exactly

Blockchain as its name implies, is a chain of blocks. But unlike Legos or Jengas, these blocks contain digital information on every data or transaction conducted on the Web 3 space.

Every time a new data or transaction is completed, a new block is created and added to the existing blockchain. Thus creating a continuous “chain of blocks” arranged from earliest to latest.

Blockchain is a technology that keeps record of time-stamped series of data which is immutable and managed by a decentralized system. Since no central authority is in control, transparency is maintained and it is extremely difficult to alter, duplicate, or erase data from the system. With this ability, it has been dubbed the greatest innovation of the 21st century.

The Blockchain is a type of Distributed Ledger Technology in which transactions are recorded with an invariable cryptographic encryption. It is basically a digital ledger of transactions that is replicated across the entire network of systems.

This means that every new history recorded on a block and added to the chain automatically gets copied on the pre-existing blocks in that chain. Hence it is impossible to tamper with the histories on the Blockchain and just in case there’s an infiltration, retrieval is super easy.

Properties Of The Blockchain Technology

Like wild fire, the Blockchain is rapidly getting integrated in natural aspects of our daily lives and this advancement is definitely because of the peculiarity it offers.

  • Programmable: By reason of its programmability, the blockchain accommodates automation of new transactions and controls through “smart contracts”. Smart contracts are programs that run on the Blockchain when prestated conditions are met. This means you can imbed instructions or state the terms of an agreement just like any other contract but now, in lines of codes to automatically self-execute when all parameters are ticked.
  • Secure: Because the histories saved on the Blockchain are duplicated to every individual block, no record is actually lost even in the event of a hack. It is a comprehensive risk management system providing protection from frauds, breaches and cyber attacks as a hack into one of the systems cannot affect the other parts of the system.
  • Anonymous: Transactions on the Blockchain are not linked to any identity. Even though when anyone joins the network, they can view the public ledger, only public addresses are made available for verification and this doesn’t reveal a thing about the owner’s true identity. It can be better called “pseudo-anonymous”.
  • Unanimous: The validity of transactions on the Blockchain are supported and agreed upon by every participant on the network.
  • Distributed: Since the records on the Blockchain are duplicated on every block, the network participants each have a copy of the digital ledger to promote complete transparency.
  • Immutable: This feature of the Blockchain is mostly highlighted as a key benefit. Its immutability means that the digital ledger can remain permanent, indelible and unaltered courtesy the use of a cryptographic signature called a “hash”.
  • Time-stamped: When transactions are recorded, a small data stored as a unique serial number is added to each block. This data has a main function of determining the exact time the block was mined and validated by the network.

Practical Applicability

Blockchain Technology can be incorporated into any industry that involves data and transactions, the most popular ones being;

  • Banking
  • Voting
  • Financial transactions in cryptocurrency

More people are beginning to explore its usability in:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Education
  • Securing personal information
  • Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
  • Government
  • Logistics etc.

Do let me know if you found this article insightful or even slightly helpful. Any feedback is welcome.

I simplify the technicalities of the Web 3 space in writing. You might want to follow me.

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WebLady

I write about Web 3 and it's use cases in very simple terms– it'll take you from novice to mid-level fast.