Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and secure data recording system that utilizes cryptography to ensure data integrity. It is the underlying technology of various cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it also finds applications in many other domains.
Key characteristics of blockchain include:
- Decentralization: There is no central authority or single controlling entity in a blockchain network. Instead, it consists of multiple nodes working together to maintain the system.
- Distribution: Each node in the network holds a copy of all the data stored in the blockchain. This ensures reliability and protects against a single point of failure.
- Security: Blockchain employs cryptographic techniques to secure data and maintain its integrity. Each block is linked to the previous one through a hash function, making data tampering virtually impossible.
- Transparency: All transactions and data stored in the blockchain are publicly accessible and verifiable by any participant in the network.
- Immutability: Once data is added to the blockchain, it becomes immutable, and previous blocks cannot be deleted or altered without the consensus of the majority of the network participants.
Blockchain technology has a wide range of applications beyond cryptocurrencies. It can be used for supply chain management, voting systems, authenticity verification, decentralized applications (DApps), smart contracts, and much more.