For some time the term blockchain emerges on the web and elsewhere but it is not always easy for some to have a clear idea of what it represents. So here is an article explaining and defining blockchain.
The blockchain is to the 2010s what the internet was to the 1990s. The idea of how it works is actually quite simple. Also called block chainthe latter is a means of transmitting, storing, and verifying information in a mathematical and totally decentralized way.
Take a notary as a counter-example. The latter is a trusted individual, recognized, and who confers (in exchange for remuneration) to the acts that you request from him a guarantee of authenticity thanks to his signature and his seals. However, everything is based on this so-called trust that you and the others grant him and without which the actions would no longer have any value. It is not only theoretically possible for him to lie and validate a litigious act, but it is also conceivable for other individuals to copy his seals and his signature to validate fakes.
The mode of operation of the blockchain is revolutionary in the sense that no trusted third party is necessary and where the falsification of acts is impossible. Indeed, the blockchain network is made up of multiple individuals called miners (several hundred thousand now) who load themselves by mathematical proof to validate the latter which are in a block. Once the block has been validated, it is linked to the previous ones.
It is not possible for minors to falsify a transaction because, due to decentralization, if one of them decides to lie by validating a bad transaction, the others will invalidate it afterwards. Anyone (including you) can play the role of the miner, thus guaranteeing network neutrality. It is also not feasible for a person to pass off an unvalidated document as something that is because the blocks containing the authentic documents are visible to everyone. Indeed, each person participating in the network downloads all the blocks (and therefore the acts) since the creation of the network. You can see all bitcoin transactions by clicking here.
Miners are rewarded with the blockchain transaction fees that each person who wishes to register something on it must pay (the average fees are generally very low, the equivalent of $0.04 for certain cryptos), but also by the creation of new tokens (or cryptocurrencies) that they can then resell. Indeed, it is the latter that will be used to pay future transaction fees.
Multiple applications of the blockchain are possible, the best known being its use for crypto-currencies. The first application of the blockchain is for a crypto, bitcoin.
Operation in summary (taking as an application a Proof-of-Work blockchain used for sending money):
- Alice wants to send 1 Bitcoin to Bob. She deposits her transaction in a pool (which contains all transactions awaiting validation) and deposits a “tip” (transaction fee) for minors.
- The miners select the transactions that have the most tips from the pool and then put them in a block.
- The block is then validated using cryptographic means thanks to the work of the latter. They receive the tip as well as new coins created during this process (ensuring the circulation of new liquidities).
- The block is registered in the blockchain and anyone can therefore see the transactions present in this block (unless the blockchain is private).
- Bob therefore received his Bitcoin because the network validated Alice’s sending and registered “+1 BTC” in Bob’s wallet.
Of course, an infinite number of applications are imaginable, such as a decentralized supercomputer, a secure cloud, or even a new internet. The operation described above will remain broadly the same if blockchains with a different security principle, the Proof-Of-Stake, begin to be put in place. We will not deal with it in this article.
A very good explanatory video from ScienceEtonnante:
We want to say thanks to the author of this post for this awesome material
Blockchain – What you need to know, (simple) explanation and definition – CryptoActu
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