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.