The blockchain is a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions, NFT ownership or DeFI smart contracts. It is totally decentralized which means no institution or administration can control it.
It was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and released as open-source software in 2009. Nakamoto conceived of the block chain as a way to verify and secure a digital currency system he had designed.
The blockchain technology has various characteristics. First, the blockchain is distributed, meaning that it is not stored in any single location but is instead shared by all of the nodes on the network. This also means that there is no central authority controlling the blockchain; instead, it is maintained by the collective actions of the nodes on the network. Additionally, the blockchain is transparent; all transactions are visible to anyone who wants to view them.
It is constantly growing as “completed” blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data which means that all digital information is recorded and distributed, but not edited. Transactions cannot be altered, deleted or destroyed.
Bitcoin nodes (a node is a person who runs a computer that contributes to the network) use the block chain to differentiate legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
The block chain is shared by all Bitcoin users. It is used to verify the permanence of Bitcoin transactions and to prevent double spending.
Beyond being transparent with data, the blockchain is also a secure way to store it.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using blockchain technology. Advantages include security, automation, efficiency, cost reduction, increased transparency and auditability. On the other hand, we can name a few disadvantages like regulatory implication, energy consumption and scalability issues.
The bottom line is that the blockchain is still fairly new and a proper niche technology which will take time before it can be used in more situations.
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