Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transaction and tracking assets in a business network. The ledger containing the transactions is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on a blockchain. Each block on the chain contains a number of transactions, and everytime a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant's ledger. Blockchain is a type of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in which transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash. Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.
Properties of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
- Programmable (i.e. smart contracts)
- Secure (all records are individually encrypted)
- Anonymous (the identy of participants remains anonymous or psydonymous)
- Unanimious (all network participants agree to the validity of each of the records)
- Time-stamped (a transaction timestamp is recorded on a block)
- Immutable (Any validated records are irreversible and cannot be changed)
- Distributed (All network participants have a copy of the ledger for complete transparency
Can a Blockchain be hacked?
If one block in one chain is changed, it will be immediately apparent it had been tampered with. If hackers wanted to corrupt a blockchain system, they would have to change every block in the chain, across all of the distributed versions of the chain. This means if a blockchain (i.e. Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) constantly grows it makes it significantly more secure.