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Blockchain Technology is the combination of softwares, hardwares and algorithm that powers all blockchain operations.
Blockchain is a growing list of records known as blocks, that are linked together by means of cryptography. Each block of records is made up of a cryptographic hash record of the previous block, transaction data and a timestamp.
A Block is like a page or record book that records some or all of the most recent transactions that have not yet entered any prior blocks.
Blockchain Technology has become a trending topic these days, this is mostly because it is the foundation of the world's most famous cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Many governments owned and leading international banks have decided to bring up many of their conventional transactions based on the concept of Blockchain.
The Blockchain applications and potential of its technology are very huge and are generally considered to be changing the means by which financial transactions are carried out in various fields.
In present times, there is a lot of activities on Blockchain Technologies. Most People have described blockchain as the most disruptive technology in the past 15 years. Especially here that the financial markets are the one that is mostly affected.
The applications of Blockchain Technology are now being adopted into many sectors like healthcare, medicines, smart Properties, insurances, automobiles, and even in government areas.
1. Decentralization: Decentralization is one of the most critical components of Blockchain Technology which is the cause of all the benefits like trustlessness, censorship resistance, and immutability. Due to the decentralized nature of blockchains, no central database can be taken down by a government or terrorist outfit for personal gain. At its core, Blockchains have enabled people to come up with systems that do not rely on a centralized third party to keep money safe.
2. Immutability: One of the central tenets of cryptocurrency is to prevent double-spending. This requires that none of the previous entries in the ledger could be modified in any way. Blockchains are especially useful in a scenario such as this because changing previous ledger entries requires an attacker to have more computing power than the entire network of miners protecting the network, which is referred to as a 51% attack.
3: Trustless: The decentralized peer to peer network of miners protects the network by what’s called Proof of Work, thereby eliminating the need to trust any middlemen. The entire Blockchain code is open source, thus removing any possibilities of backdoors being built into the system. This ensures that individuals could become their own banks and have a say in how their money is used as opposed to trusting a bank to keep their money safe.
4. Faster and Cheaper Borderless Transactions: Blockchains are one of the fastest ways to transfer value across the globe. This is in large part due to the fact there is no intermediary to settle disputes in the case of Bitcoin, Ethereum. All transactions on the blockchain are final and irreversible.
There are two main types of Blockchain Technology, such as:
1. Public Blockchain: This is a non-restrictive, permission-less distributed ledger system. Anyone who has access to the internet can sign in on a blockchain platform to become an authorized node and be part of the blockchain network. Examples of these are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
2. Private Blockchain: This is a restrictive or permission blockchain operative only in a closed network, and is only used in organizations and enterprises where selected members are participants of a blockchain network.
The Other Variations of Blockchains that exist are:
1. Consortium Blockchain: This is a semi-decentralized type where more than one organization manages a blockchain network.
2. Hybrid Blockchain: This is a combination of private and public blockchain.
There are many features of Blockchain Technology and some of them are:
1. Blockchain as a data structure: A Blockchain is defined as a growing record of data, that is stored as virtual blocks. In Bitcoin’s implementation of Blockchain, for example, the data that is being recorded here is Bitcoin transactions. The structure of Blockchain starts with a single block that is known as the genesis block. As the amount of data that is recorded on the system start increasing, more blocks keep getting added to the chain.
2. Immutability and tamper detection in blockchain: Data that is being stored in the Blockchain Node is made very secure and immutable by means of cryptography. Every block is directly referenced by a unique string of characters that is generated by a cryptographic hash function. This function can take in any amount of data as its inputs and then generate a fixed-length string as its output.
3. Data protection in blockchain: Instead of employing a physical or an online account that has to be maintained and managed by a third party (such as a bank), every unit of the cryptocurrency is stored on the Blockchain itself. Users can securely access their cryptocurrency by using their private and public keys together.
4. Relative user anonymity: Basically, only the digital addresses with its corresponding units are seen on the Blockchain network, while keeping the users' identities private. The use of public-key cryptography lets the various Blockchain Technology to be distributed across the world while making sure that the user's anonymity is enforced.
Some of the benefits include:
1. Blockchain technology provides a means for user verification without having to depend on third-parties like banks.
2. Blockchain Technology uses protected cryptography to secure the various data ledgers. Also, the present data ledger depends on its adjacent completed block to complete the process of cryptography.
3. All the transactions and data are directly attached to the block after the various process of maximum trust verification.
4. The transactions in Blockchain technology are stored in chronological order. Hence, all the data blocks in the Blockchain are time-stamped accordingly.
5. The ledger is spread across every single node in the blockchain who are the participants in it. So, it is distributed.
6. The transactions stored in the data blocks are held in millions of computers that are participating in the chain. Therefore Blockchain Technology is a decentralized network.
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