Blockchain is a technology that acts like a digital, distributed, and public ledger maintained by a network of computers called nodes. It is also called a distributed ledger technology (DLT), having rising applications in the world of finance, among others, with the trend expected to continue. Blockchain facilitates the recording of transactions of tangible (land, car, house, etc.) as well as intangible (copyrights, intellectual property, patents, etc.) assets. Practically anything that possesses value can be traded on a blockchain network by substantially reducing risk and costs. It is an electronic version of a paper ledger maintained across a public network.
Blockchain instills trust since it is immutable and transparent. It cannot be manipulated by anyone unless it is verified by a consensus mechanism of nodes. Every block in the blockchain is linked to a previous node making it robust and efficient. A blockchain has some distinct characteristics. There are rules about adding data, and it’s nearly impossible to change or delete information once it’s been saved.
What is the beauty of decentralized blockchains?
Anyone could operate a blockchain by themself (centralised) but that would be inefficient as compared to the alternative of it being decentralised. Its real potential can be exploited only in a decentralised environment where there is no inequality among users. In that way, a blockchain cannot be deleted or modified for malicious use. Anyone can recognise it since it is the single source of truth. This characteristic of the blockchain could be implemented in numerous applications to make them efficient and free from error.
What is a Blockchain Node?
The machines connected to the network are referred to as nodes, and they are the ones that store copies of the blockchain and share information with other nodes. These processes do not need to be handled manually by users. In most cases, they only need to download and execute the blockchain software, and the rest will be handled automatically. In the simplest sense, the above represents a node, but the term can also include additional users who interact with the network in any way.