What is Blockchain?


To simplify it down to its bare bones, blockchain is a database. In other words, something used to store information (a.k.a. data) digitally. Blockchain, in that light, is similar to a document or spreadsheet on your computer. The main difference lies in the amount of information that each can hold. Blockchain is a much larger database in comparison.

Blockchain’s Structure

Another huge difference between blockchain and any other type of database is the format of how this information is stored. Blockchain has a very specific storage structure — as its name suggests, it stores its information on “blocks” that are connected by a “chain”. These blocks each can store a certain amount of information. Once this information has filled up one block’s capacity, it must move on to another block.

Security and Decentralization

So now you understand what a blockchain fundamentally is. But something you might be wondering is, who operates it? Where is it operated from? This is another key difference between blockchain as a database vs a spreadsheet on your computer as a database. Blockchain, unlike many other forms of databases, is decentralized. “Decentralized” is probably another word you’ve heard frequently when talking about Bitcoin. Blockchain is a large part of what makes Bitcoin decentralized in the first place.



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