What is Blockchain?
While blockchain technology may seem like a complex system to people who are outside of the crypto industry if you try to understand it through the concept itself, it’s actually quite simple. A blockchain is essentially a database.
If you are not quite sure about what a database is, it is a collection of information that is stored through electronic means on a computer somewhere in the world. This data is structured in a table format to allow it to be easily searchable, and for the users to be able to filter specific information within it.
It is quite similar to a spreadsheet; however, spreadsheets are designed for one person or even a smaller group of people who can store and access data and information in limited quantities.
A database on the other hand is designed to have larger amounts of data and information stored that can be accessed, manipulated, filtered, all in quick successions by a large number of people at the same time.
Now, that being said, larger databases can achieve this through housing data on servers that are specifically made by custom-built, extremely powerful computers. How big and powerful you might ask? Well, it can go up to thousands of computers in order to achieve the computational power and storage units it needs in order for that amount of people to be able to access everything at the same time.
Databases are often owned by a business and managed by an appointed staff that has complete control over how it works, as well as complete control over the data that is stored within it. Blockchain as a database differs from this significantly.
As previously mentioned, one of the main ways in which blockchain technology differs from traditional databases is in the way that it stores data and the way the data itself is structured.
A blockchain essentially collects information together in groups, these groups are known and categorized as blocks. These blocks hold information.
They have certain pre-determined storage capacities and when these are filled, they are chained onto the previously filled block, forming a chain of data, called the blockchain. All of the new information that follows this newly added block is compiled into a newly formed block that then will also be added to the chain once it is fully filled.
In a traditional database, the data is structured into tables. In a blockchain, the data is structured in data blocks that are chained together. This makes it so that all blockchains are databases, but not all of the databases are blockchains.
This system makes an irreversible timeline of data when it is implemented within a decentralized nature. When a block is filled, it is essentially there forever and becomes a part of the timeline. Each block on the chain Is given a timestamp when it is added to the chain as well, and it is an irreversible process as a result.
This leads to a discussion about decentralization…