Blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet by allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology.
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.
The blockchain network lives in a state of consensus, refresh itself every ten minutes. A kind of self-auditing ecosystem of a digital value, the network reconciles every transaction that happens in ten-minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a “block”.
Two important properties result from this:
Data is embedded within the network as a whole, by definition it is public.
It cannot be corrupted -
Altering any unit of information on the blockchain would mean using a huge amount of computing power to override the entire network.
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