What is Database
Traditional database systems function on a client-server network architecture where users known as clients can alter the data which is later stored on a centralized server. Control of a database is attributed to a designated authority, an admin, who authenticates a client’s credentials before granting access to the database. The admin has full control over the database, as such, he/she can create, modify, and delete any record stored in the database. A major shortcoming of this type of system is related to security. If the security of the authority is compromised, the database can be hijacked and even deleted by the malicious entity that takes control. Traditional databases are characterized as being recursive, which means that a user can go back and repeat a task on a record and modify or delete it if they have authorization. Since the advent of innovative technologies such as blockchain, questions like what is database often touch upon the relationship between well-established technologies and new technological developments in the field of data storage and management.
Blockchain Data Storage
There is a deeply rooted confusion between blockchain technology and database systems. On a broad inspection, both of them are designed to serve the same functionality – data storage. But on closer analysis, it can be easily determined that a blockchain is indeed a database, but a database is not a blockchain. Traditional database systems and all of their shortcomings rank among the impulses which generated the need for a new data storing mechanism.
Blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, distributed database that records all the information introduced in the blockchain network in ordered records named blocks. Blockchain data storage functions differently from traditional databases. Instead of storing the data directly into the blockchain, the system calculates the hash of the data, and stores it in structures called blocks. Blockchain’s data storage architecture ensures tamper resistance and data integrity, as each block contains the hashed information of the previous block, creating a chain-like structure of interdependent blocks. The created database is then replicated and shared among network participants (nodes) to ensure overall transparency and availability.