Blockchain seems to be one of the most engaging, interesting and intriguing technologies to talk about right now. It’s much more than just the concept on which cryptocurrencies run. It’s a list of records or blocks that chronologically stores data publicly.
The data are encrypted with the help of cryptography, so that they don’t get altered, and the confidentiality of the user does not get jeopardized. The reason is that the information is safely stored in the blockchain which is a distributed and decentralized database running atop a network of computers. Therefore, there is no central agency or authority who can be the sole decision maker.
In short, blockchain is a kind of distributed ledger technology (DLT) or a decentralized peer to peer immutable ledger and digital system for recording transactions among participants in different places and tracking assets in a business network.
The key blockchain features
This is one of the most important features of blockchain. This feature actually greatly enhances the capacity of the whole network. It happens due to the remarkable peer to peer technology. Thousands of computers are working in tandem in this digital system which as a whole has a much higher power than a handful of them connected together.
This is another important attribute of blockchain. Immutability and security are facilitated with the help of cryptography. Each block is specified with an exclusive string of characters brought forth by a cryptographic hash function. Hash value is a typically unique value which identifies a single block. Every block is connected to the previous block or the parent block by saving the parent hash. Even a minute change in the contents of the block changes its hash. This brings about immutable transactions which make it impossible to manipulate, alter or counterfeit data stored already in the blockchain.
In blockchain, decentralization indicates the transfer of control, authority and decision-making from a central body like an individual, organization or group to a distributed network or the participants of the network. So, assets can be stored in the network, sans the oversight or control of a single person or entity. Decentralized networks are created to cut down the degree of trust the participants have over each other. It also helps to avert abuse of power or authority by them. An owner has an unhindered control of his or her account via a key and one’s assets can be transferred by the person to anyone desired.
4. Distributed ledger technology (DLT)
DLT is also one of blockchain’s indispensable features. It signifies protocols and supporting infrastructure where independent computers or nodes keep sharing, recording and synchronizing transactions in their respective electronic ledgers while in a traditional ledger data remain centralized. The distributed ledger in a private or federated blockchain permits everyone with the necessary access to view the ledger so that the process remains transparent, dependable and reliable. In other words, it’s a highly efficient ledger system.
The consensus algorithm is a procedure which makes blockchain flourish. It’s a defining and intrinsic feature of each blockchain. It’s a protocol, employing which the entire group of nodes in the blockchain network arrive at a common agreement known as consensus, on the state of data in the ledger very swiftly. It facilitates trust among unknown peers in the network, while allowing blockchain to attain reliability between the nodes and assuring security in the network environment.
6. Quick settlement
This is another key feature of blockchain technology, where swifter settlements are offered vis-a-vis traditional banking systems, which are quite sluggish. Blockchain overcomes this problem by swiftly processing money transfers. So, this saves a lot of time and money for all concerned and is also convenient for the clients.
So, these are some of the most important features of blockchain technology and the technology is not just another hype which the world will be able to disregard or ignore after some time. It can be safely assumed that blockchain is here for keeps.