In this digital age, numerous technological advances happen almost every year. A topic that had people talk about over social media is cryptocurrency and the concept of blockchains.
At first, they may seem like a difficult topic to understand, especially with the many concepts being thrown around. If you have ever stumbled upon the word blockchain in social media and are still confused, this is a guide to give you a rundown of what you need to know.
What Is a Blockchain?
What exactly is a blockchain? To keep it simple, it is a database that stores blocks of data. These blocks are then chained to form a single source for that specific data.
From there, these digital data are distributed as assets, and after distribution, it becomes an immutable record. It is important to remember that distribution is different from copies and transferees of data.
The blockchain acts as a distributed ledger system, promoting decentralization and transparency while having multiple security measures. This makes blockchain a valuable technology for many industries.
The next set of terms will be a quick rundown of what they are and what they do in the blockchain.
The first one is blocks. Each chain has numerous blocks with three basic elements. These are:
- Nonce – a 32-bit whole number that is generated randomly, which then creates a header hash
- Hash – a 256-bit number that starts with multiple zeroes
It is worth mentioning that the nonce generates a cryptograph after the first block of a chain is created. This data is considered signed and is tied to the nonce and hash.
Mining is the process of creating new blocks on a chain. However, mining a block is not easy, especially in bigger chains. This is because of each block’s unique nonce and hash, which references the previous block on the chain.
Special software and computing power are necessary to solve the math problems of which nonce generates an acceptable hash. In addition, since the nonce is 32-bit and the hash is 256-bit, an estimate of four billion nonce-hash combinations are possible.
Keep in mind that changes to any block, especially those earlier in the chain, require re-mining, which is a complex process.
An integral part of blockchain technology is nodes. Nodes can be any electronic device that can sustain copies of a blockchain while keeping the network functioning.
Each node has a copy of the blockchain. The network must then have a proper algorithm to approve new blocks that update the chain. This is also required for blockchains to be deemed trustworthy when updates are necessary.
In addition, since each blockchain is transparent, it is easy to check and view the ledger. Another thing to remember is that a unique alphanumerical identification number is given to each participant, which allows their transactions to be viewable and transparent.
In today’s digital world, many are present online. The cyberworld is continuously being uploaded with data. Blockchain is a concept that some may not know, especially everyday social media users.
However, it goes beyond social media, extending to cryptocurrency and trading. Because it is decentralized and does not require an intermediary like a bank, it is considered a faster and inexpensive way to transact. Its transparent nature also minimizes instances of fraud to protect users.
With privacy being more important now than ever, the blockchain process allows people to grasp how data is processed. This offers safer platforms that will hopefully lead to more secure cyberspaces.