What is blockchain?

I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t understand completely what blockchain technology is, they just know it has to do with Bitcoin. Here’s a very brief and understandable explanation.

Let’s say that you have a group of 100 people at your workplace who all have copies of a particular spreadsheet. This is a blockchain. Blockchain is secure against hackers in the idea that even if one person’s spreadsheet got hacked and changed or even lost, there are still 99 others who have the exact same spreadsheet, and they will each know that because their spreadsheet matches with 98 other people, they have the correct version. Now, let’s say that your boss sends out an email to add another row to the spreadsheet. Each one of you will add that particular row, and then check with your colleagues to make sure you’ve done it correctly. Anyone who claims that the row is wrong has to compare with 99 others.

This is a very basic idea of how blockchain works, and why it is basically impenetrable to hacking. To corrupt the spreadsheet, someone would have to hack in to 51 people’s computers and change the spreadsheet. Now imagine there are a million employees all with the same spreadsheet, and the task becomes a little harder to accomplish.

If you’re interested in learning more of the technical side of blockchain, I recommend taking a look here.


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