The brainchild of a person or a group collectively known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the concept of blockchain was first unveiled to the world through the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 and was later applied in 2009. Initially acting as the backbone for the first truly decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, blockchain evolved into something much greater, managing to overshadow its initial purpose and becoming a hot topic for tech enthusiasts, companies and savvy entrepreneurs.
For more than a decade since the technology has entered the market, it has firmly positioned itself in the limelight, gaining significant support and following. Even so, there is still much confusion over what is blockchain, and how it differs from technologies that preceded it. Blockchain is a distributed incorruptible ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not only financial transactions but virtually any type of data that has value. A type of distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchain is a digitized, distributed database that records all the information introduced in a decentralized peer to peer network. The created database is then replicated and shared among the network participants. This means that all members have access to the information, which provides a highly transparent environment. To answer the question “what is blockchain”, people should imagine an ordered list of blocks, where each block is identified by its cryptographic hash. Every block is arranged in such a way that it references the block that came before it, which leads to the creation of a chain of blocks (hence its name). When a new block is created and appended to the blockchain, all the information contained by the new block will be available to every member of the network. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires the collusion of the network majority.