Blockchain and blockchain technology explained and distinguished
In the cryptocurrency world, Bitcoin more especially, people tend to confuse the meaning of blockchain and blockcahin technology. Simply put, Blockcahin is a distributed, decentralized public ledger. This definition is obviously very difficult to comprehend by a a common man.
Blockchain technology is the technology behind the system of blockchain. That is the technology that enables the transactions to be recorded into a blocks and then linked together into blockchain.
Blockchain is the combination of two words, block and chain. A block is a single recorded transaction. When different blocks are linked together, it becomes a chain of blocks(blockchain) The truth is that what blockchain actually means is easier than the definition.
Blockchain is simply a technology designed to store information of every transaction. it was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto who is also the inventor of Bitcoin in 2008. Blockchain does the function of recording and storing pieces of information on any transaction regarding the date and time of transaction, participants of the transaction and information that distinguishes every transaction from another.
A blockchain consist of multiple blocks strung together . There are however four conditions precedent to the addition of block to the blockchain, they are,
- There must have occurred a valid transaction. in other words, a valid transaction must have occurred
- the said transaction must have been duly verified
- The transaction must have been stored in a block and
- The transaction must have been given a unique identifying code called hash.
As soon as a transaction is added to the blockchain, it becomes accessible to everyone. The aim of blockchain is to allow digital information to be recorded and distributed but never to be edited.
The linking of different blocks into a blockchain is done using a cryptograph. The simple explanation is that, when a transaction is made, the blockchain technology records the transaction into blocks, then the different blocks in which different transactions are recorded are linked together using a cryptograph. The linked blocks is then referred to as blockchain. While the technology behind the process is the blockchain technology.
Upon invention of the blockchain technology by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, the essence was to develop a public ledger in which all transaction will be recorded permanently, free to be accessed by the public but never to be tampered with by anyone. So transactions that are contained in the blockchain are transactions that have occurred, been verified, recorded in a block and finally hashed(encoded).
There are two important terms to take note of while dealing with blockchain, they are;
block time and hard forks. Block time simply means the time it takes the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. A hard fork is a rule change such that where the validating software follow the old rules, it will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid.
It should be pointed out that errors are minimal in the blockchain ledger. This is because transactions on the blockchain network are approved by a network of thousands or even millions of computers, thereby removing all human errors in the process of verification. This process is designed such that even where a computer makes a computational error, it can only reflect in one blockcahin. For an error to be spread across other blockchain, such error is required to have been made in 51% of the network of computers. Blockchain is publicly acessible but not editable .