Definition of blockchain
The blockchain is a register of decentralized data shared in complete security.
Blockchain technology allows a selected group of participants to share data. Thanks to the blockchain, transactional data from multiple sources can be collected and shared. The data is divided into shared blocks which are chained together with unique identifiers in the form of cryptographic hashes. Blockchain provides data integrity with a single source of truth, eliminating data duplication and increasing security.
In a blockchain system, fraud and tampering with data are avoided because data cannot be changed without the authorization of a quorum of the parties. A blockchain ledger can be shared - but not edited. If someone tries to change any data, all participants will be notified and know who made the attempt.
To learn more about blockchain, its underlying technology, and use cases, here are some important definitions.
Decentralized trust: The main reason companies use blockchain technology, instead of other data stores, is to provide a guarantee of data integrity without relying on a central authority. This is called decentralized trust through reliable data.
Blockchain Blocks: The name blockchain comes from the fact that data is stored in blocks and each block is connected to the previous block, forming a chain structure. With blockchain technology, you can only add new blocks to a blockchain. You cannot edit or delete a block once it has been added to the blockchain.
Consensus algorithms: Algorithms that apply the rules in a blockchain system. Once the participating parties define the rules for the blockchain, the consensus algorithm ensures that these rules are followed.
Blockchain Nodes: Blocks of blockchain data are stored on nodes, the storage units that keep data synchronized or up to date. Any node can quickly determine if a block has changed since it was added. When a whole new node joins the blockchain network, it downloads a copy of all blocks currently on the chain. Once the new node syncs with the other nodes and has the latest version of the blockchain, it can receive all new blocks just like other nodes.
There are two main types of blockchain nodes:
1. The full node stores a complete copy of the blockchain.
2. The light nodes store only the most recent blocks and can ask older blocks when users need them.
Types of blockchains
Public Blockchain: A public or unauthorized, blockchain network is a network that anyone can participate in without restrictions. Most types of cryptocurrency operate on a public blockchain governed by rules or consensus algorithms.
“I see an authorized blockchain as a family. What I mean by that are family members, they trust and protect each other. No guest is allowed to enter without the formal consent of all family members. True members of the family, they, therefore, keep private information within the family. It's about data protection. What happens in a family stays in the family. They update each other with all the information. As with data privacy, they protect their mutual information in order to protect each other and keep everyone's home secure. It is therefore the family chain. It is the blockchain. From my perspective, blockchain is all about data security, efficiency, and privacy. ”
—Ghassan Sarsak, Director of Technology and Innovation, ICS Financial Systems Limited
The business value of blockchain
The use of blockchain technology is expected to increase dramatically over the next several years. This game-changing technology is seen as both innovative and disruptive, as blockchain will alter existing business processes with streamlined efficiency, reliability, and security.
Blockchain technology offers specific business benefits that help businesses in the following ways:
- It builds trust between parties doing business together by providing reliable and shared data
- Eliminate siled data by integrating data into a single system with a distributed ledger shared within a network that authorized parties can access
- It offers a high level of data security
- It reduces the need for third-party intermediaries
- It creates real-time tamper-proof recordings that can be shared among all participants
- It allows participants to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of products placed on the market.
- It allows seamless tracking and tracing of goods and services across the supply chain
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