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An Introduction to Blockchain Technology

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An Introduction to Blockchain Technology

In this post, we give a high-level overview of blockchain technology, how a distributed ledger works, and how blockchain benefits InfoSec.

· Security Zone ·
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You may have heard the term “blockchain technology” before, or in reference to Bitcoin or associated with cryptocurrencies. 

For the uninitiated, the term might seem abstract with little real meaning on the surface. However, Blockchain is a concept and Bitcoin is the implementation of that concept. 

Blockchain is the next generation of the internet.

The hype around the technology is seemingly high and it seems to be here to stay, as it has great potential to make an impact on the next few decades. 

It’s a technology that has many applications and holds vast promise for every business, society, and individual who's going through this post.

In order to get more insights regarding this promising technology, let's try to understand exactly what is blockchain.

Blockchain is nothing but a distributed data storage that acts as an “open ledger” to store and manage transactions.

It’s a collection of records that is controlled and managed by a community of users, rather than relying on a single entity. That is, in blockchain, a community of users controls how the record of information is amended and updated instead of a single centralized authority.

For instance, the conventional data storage systems running on distributed networks most often uses a client-server network architecture. Here, a user (or a client) with associated permissions can modify information, which is stored on a centralized server. By changing the 'master copy,' the user will get the updated version of the database entry whenever they access the database using their system.

And the control of the database remains with a designated authority, which authenticates the client’s credentials before providing access to the database. That is, here, all the important rights and powers are in the hands of top-level management or a central authority. Since this authority is responsible for the administration of the database there is a chance to compromise the security of the data . That is, it can be altered or even deleted by the authority.

This is not the case with blockchain. In blockchain, there is no centralized authority to corrupt or hack the data. Blockchain is totally "decentralized," means the ledger is distributed all around the world, rather than in one central location and the verification comes from the consensus of multiple users.

This is blockchain in a nutshell.

In simple terms, blockchain is a decentralised distributed database.

At its heart, blockchain is a record of transactions, like a traditional ledger. That is, blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made are recorded chronologically and publicly. These transactions can be any movement of money, goods or secure data. Blockchain maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks which is a collection of data. And each piece of data is added to the blockchain by connecting one block after another in a chronological way. And this series of connected blocks one after another makes it a chain of blocks (i.e. a blockchain).

So, here's the summary:

Blockchain is a digital data storage system where data is recorded by using a logbook approach with the following essential characteristics: ordered, incremental, sound (cryptographically verifiable up to a given block), and digital.

And this is why blockchain is unique.

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Topics:
blockchain ,cryptocurrency ,security ,infosec ,data security

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