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What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

A Blockchain is a type of database. Essentially, it is a spreadsheet where data is stored in cells (or “blocks”) that are linked together in order by cryptographic codes. This database is generally distributed on many computers instead of being stored in one central location. In Bitcoin the blockchain describes both the ledger and technology behind the ledger. Many who aren’t believers in Bitcoin as a currency / digital asset are supporters of blockchain technology and its many applications both within finance and beyond.

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet every 10-15 minutes and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.