CT: A blockchain is a distributed database that keeps a continuously-growing list of records protected from revision and tampering. Basically, the blockchain technology is a public ledger that records all transactions that have ever occurred. The official blockchain public site lets any person to get these transactions in real time and evaluate the basic stats of the system, such as the time between blocks, a number of blocks made, mining costs, the cost per transaction and most fascinatingly even the electricity used to mine bitcoins.
In the bitcoin setting, a blockchain is a digital ledger, secured by cryptography so powerful that tampering with it is dismissed as “impossible”. Normally, the blockchain exists across a network of computers. When a new transaction is made, the blockchain is validated across the distributed network, before including the transaction as the next block on the chain.
S: http://www.techbullion.com/blockchain-definition-origin-history/ (last access: 15 May 2017)
N: 1. The definition of the term blockchain is far from clear. The word blockchain itself most likely traces back to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper from 2008. While there is no specific mention of the word blockchain in the paper, it describes a technology component underlying the cryptocurrency as a series of data blocks that are cryptographically chained together. While most of the components described in the paper have existed since the 80’s and the 90’s, the author’s contribution was to apply them in an innovative way, combining them into one functional cryptocurrency system.
Using this etymology, strictly speaking blockchain is nothing more than a mere data structure with distributed multiversion concurrency control. When the term first became popular, however, there was only one practical application of this data structure in existence: the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Due to the lack of any pre-existing architecture, Bitcoin, by necessity, constituted the entire technology stack of the distributed consensus architecture.
2. A blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. It is constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear, chronological order. Each node (computer connected to the Bitcoin network using a client that performs the task of validating and relaying transactions) gets a copy of the blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the Bitcoin network. The blockchain has complete information about the addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block.
3. The blockchain got its name because it is a chain of digital blocks, each of which is a tamper-proof batch of valid/verified transactions. Each block refers (or is linked) to the immediately prior block …
4. The Satoshi’s publication described how bitcoin can be used to send payments between two willing entities without requiring a third-party financial body. Each transaction was stored in the blockchain ledger, the latest block linked to the preceding ones using a digital signature. To make sure there is trust in the ledger, the network participants ran complex algorithms to authenticate those signatures and add transactions to the blockchain.
5. The blockchain technology allows strangers who don’t have faith on each other to exchange value in cyberspace. By 2014, over 80 uses of such cryptoledgers had been documented.
6. In 2014, “Blockchain 2.0” was a word used in the blockchain database field. In the same year, about eight funded projects were underway to develop blockchain 2.0 technology.
S: 1. http://www.brie.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Juri-Mattila-.pdf (last access: 15 May 2017). 2. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blockchain.asp (last access: 15 May 2017). 3. TERMIUM PLUS – http://goo.gl/EJN8no (last access: 15 May 2017). 4 to 6. http://www.techbullion.com/blockchain-definition-origin-history/ (last access: 15 May 2017).