If You Read One Article About Understanding Blockchain Read this One!!

Off late Blockchain has become a buzz word to many people. With raise in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, ADA etc., focus is being made into Blockchain technology. Nevertheless to mention Blockchain has become synonym for Cryptocurrency. When there is a mention of Blockchain, people will simply correlate to Bitcoin or some other crypto currency.

Illustration of blockchain

So Blockchain and Cryptocurrency are same ? First things first, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are two different things. Blockchain is a technology and cryptocurrencies is the utility/use-case built on the top of Blockchain. Sound confusing ? or interesting ? let us deep dive into understanding this.

Blockchain is an electronic ledger or database of transactions. A traditional database like Excel or an Enterprise grade DB will store data in rows and columns. In Blockchain, data is structured in form of blocks (finite amount of data per block is stored), every new block of data is added(chained) to previous block, hence it is referred as Blockchain.

What is a Node in Blockchain ?

Node is a computer connected to a Blockchain network. These nodes downloads, stores and share the information with other nodes in the network. Unlike traditional Databases, even if a node goes down, blockchain will continue to function seamlessly. Anyone can download the software required for running a blockchain and maintain the node. Nodes are used for processing of transactions in the Blockchain and would be rewarded for the work contributed (We will discuss this later posts).

Blockchain Node

Features of Blockchain :

  • Transactions on blockchain are transparent , anyone can view the transaction details over blockchain with help of Transaction hash/Wallet Address, but sender and receiver of the transaction remains anonymous.
  • Data on Blockchain is immutable, meaning once a block is created with an information. It can’t be altered or changed over the time.
  • Blocks are chained together using hashing mechanism. Hashing is the process of generating a hash(fingerprint) basis of the data inside the block. This will be unique for every block.
  • Data is stored across the nodes in the blockchain network. It is a decentralized network.
  • Blockchain is programmable i.e., smart contracts can be created over blockchain
  • All the Nodes contains a Copy of data in Blockchain. Incase of new block is added to the chain, same will get replicated across the nodes.

Uses of Blockchain :

  • Cryptocurrency Transactions
  • Banking
  • Insurance, Supply chain, etc.,
  • Creating smart contracts.
  • Can be programmable and be able to maintain private blockchains for Closed User Groups, without hampering features of Blockchain.

Summary :

Blockchain is a distributed ledger for recording the transactions/blocks of data. It is very hard to tamper with data in Blockchain network , unlike to traditional Databases. While Blockchain is having many uses cases across the industries like Banking, Supply chain, Food, Remittances, etc., crypto currencies are the current huge main use case for using blockchain as store of value. However, all the conventional Industries like Banking, Manufacturing, Supply Chain etc., are quickly implementing their own Blockchains for processing of transactions.

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