Blockchain 101 from a Crypto Newbie

Written by Melrose Account Executive, Kimberly Brown.

If you’re like me, you have wondered, what exactly is blockchain? And then when you got the initial answer, you were no closer to a basic understanding of the term. I am two weeks old here at Melrose PR and after several videos, articles, and questions, I am going to take a stab at blogging a “Blockchain 101.” So here it goes…

The most elementary definition is blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and incorruptible digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers. Those many computers are a distributed network referred to as nodes. Each node contains a chain of blocks and each block contains a ledger with a list of timestamped transactions that are incorruptible and is linked to the previous transactions.

Let’s pause for a moment and make sure we are clear on decentralization and why it is an important characteristic of blockchain. Unlike centralized databases operated by central figures such as governments or banks that gather our information, blockchain is decentralized meaning no one single entity has control of the processing of data. Think of the idea of one person doing all the work as opposed to multiple people doing the work.

Okay, back to understanding blockchain. These blocks can be viewed and added to by the nodes community but cannot be changed once validated by the network. Every participant is permissioned to have a copy of every record and piece of data so no one entity owns or controls the database. No transaction can be added without consensus across the participants so trust is not required because all transactions can be viewed and verified.

This is just the very tip of the iceberg. I have just begun my blockchain journey. There’s cryptography (the math of blockchain), cryptocurrency (bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, etc.), mining (the process by which transactions are verified and added to the blockchain) and so much more.

One day soon, I will be capable and comfortable to where I can actually hold a conversation about this industry.  I can’t wait but until then, I think I am off to a pretty good start. What do you think? How did I do?

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