What the heck is blockchain?

Blockchain is shaping up to be one of the big buzz words of 2018.  A lot of this fervor is due to the spectacular rise and fall of Bitcoin recently.  But the staying power is going to be fueled by investors of all shapes and sizes consumed by the fear of missing out.  Just do a search for "investor blockchain" and you'll see what we mean.

So... what is it?  Here's the short answer:  it's a ledger.  Yes, that's right.  The world is freaking out over a freaking ledger.

Blockchain is a Ledger

Blockchain is the software/technology/math system that keeps track of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.  It's purpose is to keep a ledger of all the transactions that happen with that currency.  Each transaction is a block, and when it's completed, it gets stuck on the big master ledger - yes, like a link added to a chain. 

One Block of code per transaction, added to the big chain of transactions.  Block-chain.

The Blockchain ledger is 100% anonymous

Ledgers can be either Public (bitcoin) or Private (used internally by a company).  No one knows who has the ledgers, it's all a peer-to-peer (P2P) group - a distributed network of systems that are running hash calculations and creating blocks.

The Blockchain ledger is decentralized. 

That's right - no one has THE master copy. With Blockchain, the majority rules: literally.

51% of the distributed network needs to agree on the validity of a transaction - essentially they must match the Hash created for the transaction. If one system does not match, their ledger from the previous block is dumped and they have to accept the groups block as next in their chain.

If some device's copy of the ledger gets out of whack, it won't match the majority.  In that case, the whole thing gets dumped and the device gets a new copy of the ledger from the majority.

Interested in finding out more about blockchain? 

Check out these links:

For beginners:

Links:

https://medium.com/blockchain-review/how-does-the-blockchain-work-for-dummies-explained-simply-9f94d386e093

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/blockchain-explained-simply/

5 explanations for 5 different difficulty levels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYip_Vuv8J0

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