Blockchain Technology Explained for Beginners

  • Last updated Apr 25, 2024

Blockchain was invented by anonymous person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity remains unknown to this day, and he or she disappeared from the public eye in 2011. However, the impact of blockchain technology has been significant, and it has since been applied to many different industries beyond just cryptocurrency, including voting systems, supply chain management, and more.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a record keeping technology in which data are stored in a collection of blocks that are linked with each other. The data in each block contains a timestamp, transactions information, and a cryptographic hash of both the previous and the current data. Every block has a copy of information about the block previous to it, in the form of a cryptographic hash value. This makes Blockchain resistant proof to alteration of data once it is recorded. The data in one block cannot be modified or deleted without updating all subsequent blocks. Every time a new data comes in, it is stored in a new block and chained onto the previous block. Any kind of information can be stored in Blockchain but the most common use so far has been for keeping transactions information.

Blockchain is decentralized and distributed, meaning no individual, company, groups or organization can have control over the network, making it more secure and resistant to censorship or manipulation. Additionally, the transparency of the blockchain allows anyone to view and verify the transactions recorded on the network.

How does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain works by creating a network of computers, called nodes. These nodes use complex algorithms to verify that the transaction is valid, and once it has been verified, the block that contains the transaction record is added to the chain, creating an immutable and transparent record of all transactions on the blockchain. For example, when a transaction is initiated in a blockchain, it is broadcast to the network of nodes for validation. Each node verifies the transaction to make sure it satisfies specific requirements, such as having the right digital signature and sufficient funds. The transaction is then added in a block once it has been approved by the majority of nodes.

Why Blockchain Technology Matters in Today's World

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we store, share, and trust digital information. Blockchain has several important features that make it a valuable technology. Blockchain allows digital information to be securely stored and shared in a decentralized manner. It provides a new way to maintain trust and security in digital transactions without the need for a central authority or intermediary controlling the network. This makes it more secure and resistant to hacking. Additionally, blockchain is transparent, meaning that anyone can see the transactions that are recorded on the network. This makes it useful for things like supply chain management, where transparency is important.

Uses of Blockchain Technology

There are several uses of blockchain technology. Some of the most common include:

  • Cryptocurrencies: Digital or virtual currencies that use cryptography for secure transactions and operate independently of a central authority, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Supply chain management: Blockchain enhances transparency and traceability in supply chains, reducing fraud and providing accurate product information.
  • Voting systems: Blockchain offers secure and verifiable voting records, reducing fraud and ensuring fair elections.
  • Identity verification: Blockchain provides decentralized, user-controlled identity verification, improving privacy and security.
  • Digital asset management: Blockchain simplifies digital asset ownership and transactions through a decentralized ledger.
  • Smart contracts: Self-executing contracts on blockchain automate actions when conditions are met, enhancing transparency and security in various applications.