- Blockchain is a decentralized, digital database that stores transactions and other forms of data.
- Key blockchain features include immutable records, distributed ledger security, and smart contracts.
- Blockchain has many other uses outside of cryptocurrencies.
It's almost impossible to say "cryptocurrency" without mentioning blockchain technology. Blockchain securely stores segments of data through a self-managing, peer-to-peer (P2P) network of computers. And some of its key components include irreversible records (i.e., unchangeable blocks of data), decentralized transactions, and smart contracts.
But blockchain technology also has many other uses beyond cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. Here's how blockchain works - along with a closer look at both its pros and cons and potential applications.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a digital database that stores "blocks" of data in chronological order. These blocks are linked together on what's known as the "chain," and unlike traditional databases that utilize a third party or intermediary, blockchain is completely decentralized.
This means that no third parties can monitor or interfere with transactions. The blockchain system is basically self-regulating, thanks to a P2P computer network of nodes (i.e., individual computers) that verify all new data and distribute cross-network copies of the blockchain to keep it secure.
"Blockchains are made of, well, blocks," explains Lorien Gabel, co-founder and...
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