Feb 17, 2019 21:30 UTC
Feb 17, 2019 at 22:03 UTC
Still Don’t Understand Blockchain? Read This!
Blockchain technology has gained a great deal of popularity over the course of the recent years because of its immense potential and diverse applicability. There is no way you have never heard of it but even after having read countless articles, do you feel like you still don’t understand blockchain? If you do, read this!
For all those blockchain beginners who find technical jargon confusing, we are here to simplify it for you. “What even is a hash rate or a hard fork?”, you are probably wondering after reading your first few articles on blockchain.
Reading this article, you can safely set aside those complex terms and try to understand what blockchain is, in the simplest way possible.
We promise to make this so simple that if you have aspiring techies for children, you can even use this guide to explain the technology to them.
Simply Put: What Is A Blockchain?
Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology. Okay, no, let’s strike that. Let’s begin with an example. Say you are working on a group project with your friends and five of you have to together make edits to a document.
When one of your friends make the edit, you would ideally wait till they finish before you take over right? Not if you were using Google Docs and definitely not if you were using blockchain.
Now, a blockchain is basically a database that is simultaneously stored on a number of different computers, in a way that all of them can view, access and edit AT THE SAME TIME. This makes ledger management much easier, you no longer have to pass around a document to be able to keep track.
You could possibly do simple sharing of data with something like Google Sheets but for complex, large volumes of data with a large number of parties inputting sensitivity data, you would need a blockchain.
You May Also Read: Blockchain Architecture Explained
So, at this point, you are probably wondering how blockchain is at all different from a shared document such as Google Sheets. Well, in using Google Sheets or Google Docs, you do have several people working together on the same document, with one agreed-upon version of the truth. But this technology is centralized. Google controls it.
However, in blockchain, there is absolutely no central authority, it a decentralized, distributed ledger with robust security.
Where does the security come from, you ask? Well, in blockchain, each unit of information is known as a block. Now, all these blocks are tied to one another, chronologically, one after the other. Think of it like a special chain, where each link can be freed with a secret password written on the insides of its previous link.
What this means is that if you wanted to take out link number 432 from a chain, knowing the password of link 431 would not be enough. You would need to know the password to 431 to open it, and for that you would have to depend on 430 and then 429, and so on.
A blockchain network works exactly like this, the blocks being the link in the chain. This makes it extra secure and prevents interlopers from making unauthorized changes to the database.
Therefore with this decentralized, secure way of sharing databases, blockchain makes a variety of use cases possible.
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