Who Records Transactions in Blockchain?

By Rushali Shome

Blockchain technology has found itself at the epicenter of an emerging revolution in the tech space. Even as people find themselves awestruck by all the qualities it brings to the table, many questions remain. Given that it is still a rather new technology, these questions are quite natural and deserve to be clarified ASAP. One of these questions is: “who records all the transactions in blockchain?”

The fact that blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that stores data and records transactions with a great degree of transparency, security and immutability is known to everyone.

However, many often wonder how this data is stored in blockchain and who even maintains a record of these transactions. Let’s have a look.

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Who Records Transactions in Blockchain?

All the databases generated in a blockchain network are usually stored in several computers spread out all over the world.

Now those computers that maintain a full copy of a given blockchain network is said to be its “full-node”. While it does take a considerable amount of resources to run a full-node of any blockchain, it also guarantees some crucial benefits.

Now, these full-nodes all maintain a detailed record of all transactions recorded in the blockchain.

These transactions have to be the ones that the blockchain has already admitted and accepted as having been completely valid. Now, in light of this fact, the question that arises is: who even makes sure that these transactions find their way into the blockchain network to begin with?

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This is exactly where the role of consensus protocols in blockchain comes in.

Since, each blockchain has an extremely large number of nodes, it is not possible for all of them to remain online at the same time and validate each and every transaction that comes in.

Moreover, in the model of the Byzantine General’s Problem, it is also quite difficult to reconcile the issue of taking a decision by unified command and communicating that decision to the rest of the nodes (or in the case of the actual war metaphor, to the foot soldiers) without making it entirely public.

To solve this issue, the blockchain developers introduced the concept of consensus protocols that allows the nodes to establish a trust-less system where all nodes decide on a way by which some nodes will be routinely selected to validate transactions.

This allows for a more efficient processing of the given transactions while making sure that there is just one version of the truth.

Therefore, the nodes, selected as validators according to the criteria of a given blockchain’s specific consensus protocol (there can be several types like Proof of Work, Proof of Stake and so on) validate and record transactions in a blockchain.

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Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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