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What is a blockchain?

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1 year ago

The blockchain can be likened to a digital book managed by a computer network. Data is then added in real-time to this ledger and is available to all participants.

Once a blockchain transaction is made, it is added to a list. This block includes all the transactions that happened in the last few minutes (10 minutes for the Bitcoin network) and that were shared with the entire computer network.

Participants in the network are known as nodes. Some of these nodes are interested in registry verification: they are the validators. Different protocols exist to protect the blockchain that will affect the name given to these validators: in case the blockchain uses proof of work they would be called miners. Miners should not be confused with the users of the blockchain.

In the Bitcoin case, miners are competing to solve "cryptographic puzzles" that allow transactions to be authenticated. The first miner to solve the puzzle receives a reward for his work. The puzzle is incredibly hard to solve and the complexity of these puzzles grows over time. The miners require powerful computers to solve these puzzles.

Transaction validation refers to their inclusion inside a block and their timestamp. This will then allow the newly validated blocks to be linked to old validated blocks. A blockchain is created which contains every transaction performed on the blockchain. This blockchain is updated and is open to all network members. The decentralization resulting requires complete openness and immutability. The data available on the blockchain network is viewable by all.

Thank you for learning with me and hope you have a good rest of the day!


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