What Is a Blockchain?

Where it came from, what it does, and how you make one

Photo: LuckyStep48/Getty Images

What is it?

A public¹, permanent², append-only³ distributed⁴ ledger⁵.

  1. Though some blockchains require permission to access, “open” blockchains like those underlying Bitcoin and Ethereum are accessible to anyone, meaning the database is public information

This story is just a click away.

Sign up for a free Medium account to read this story from MIT Technology Review. Plus, get one more story in your member preview this month.

Already have an account? Sign in

Join Medium to read this story.

Sign up with a free account to read this ad-free selection curated from MIT Technology Review.
Already have an account? Sign in