What Is a Blockchain?
A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger shared among a computer network’s nodes. They are best known for their crucial role in cryptocurrency systems for maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions, but they are not limited to cryptocurrency uses. Blockchains can be used to make data in any industry immutable—the term used to describe the inability to be altered.
Because there is no way to change a block, the only trust needed is at the point where a user or program enters data. This aspect reduces the need for trusted third parties, which are usually auditors or other humans that add costs and make mistakes.
Since Bitcoin’s introduction in 2009, blockchain uses have exploded via the creation of various cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts.