What Is A Blockchain?

Understanding the basics of a Blockchain

Blockchain Architecture

A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology, most recognizable by its “blocks”. These blocks store and secure data, transactional and other, and its cryptographic “chain” links, which bind the blocks in a linear, sequential structure, (AKA a Linear DAG) as shown in the diagram above.
 
As is intended of DLT, all information stored on a blockchain is permanent,  unalterable, and can be permissioned or permissionless.
 
A unique characteristic of blockchain ledgers, is the need for Mining which necessitates fees. Miners “mine” blocks by competing with each other to solve extremely complex and computer resource intensive mathematical problems. In this process, the higher the fee paid to miners, the higher a transaction is prioritized and settled.
Once a node solves a problem, it is verified by the nodes across the entire network in what is known as consensus. If successfully verified, a new block is created and the node is rewarded with the coin native to the network.
 
The most recognized blockchain is the Bitcoin Blockchain. It was released publicly online under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.
 
Seven years later in 2015, Vitalik Buterin released the Ethereum Blockchain. This protocol was created to enable Smart Contracts on a blockchain along with a token used to execute Smart Contract transactions. Thanks to this feature, project teams around the world have leveraged the platform to create tokens and fund projects.

First of its kind

Blockchain was the first combination of mathematics, cryptography, and computer science in a value transfer system.

Digitized value

The combination of disciplines was and is proof value can be created and transferred in an entirely non-physical economy.

Created new perspectives

Over time it became apparent, financial value wasn't the only application of this technology. It could be applied to much more.

Inspired hope

New perspectives led to renewed inspiration worldwide. The realization being that beneficial and inclusive societies may not be impossible.

Blockchain

This 6m video by Savjee at Simply Explained introduces how a blockchain operates, its original intention, and how it is currently implemented.

Blockchain Mining

This video explains the role of mining on a blockchain and how a "coin" is created. It should be noted, mining is unique to blockchains, however is not always needed and is depends on the type of DLT protocol. Mining is extremely energy intensive and matches electrical consumption of some countries.

Blockchain Smart Contracts

Briefly mentioned above were Smart Contracts. This video explains how they came to be, how they work, and how they can be used.

Now you know the basics of blockchain technology. See how it has evolved:

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