December 21, 2021
Understanding what Blockchain is and how it works is not easy, explaining how it works to people with non-tech background is even much more difficult so I am going to keep it simple.
A Blockchain is a decentralized ledger that stores records of data in a block and each block connecting to the previous. To understand what this means we have to look into what some of the terminologies are.
What is decentralization?
Decentralization is a process where people in an organization have a say about its activities and decision making. You can think of cooperative society as a decentralized society. In a cooperative society, people have a say in various activities like laying down organizational rules and regulations, how money is spent, how the dividend is shared. Although sometimes, delegates can be given to a selected few to mitigate the problem of slow decisions because as the cooperative society grows it becomes more difficult and slow for decisions to be made hence, delegation.
Now think of a blockchain as a public book where everyone that subscribes or is involved with it can record every important activity on it without someone from the community or outside the community trying to sabotage the stored information.
How does this work?
One of the basic uses of blockchain is through Bitcoin. If you read the last article you will understand that bitcoin is a digital technology, while blockchain is how bitcoin is stored, and transacted securely using various mathematical methods.
Talking about the money we usually have
These are the crucial variables when dealing with money as they represent who sent what and who got what.
What blockchain does is to couple the above variables which are also called transactions (A transaction includes information of sender, money sent and receiver of the money, time he money was sent) and put them into a block (a block is a series of transactions coupled together.).
One fascinating thing about this is that a blockchain uses a mathematical algorithm to generate a random number called hash and each block is stored with it, also including the random number of the last block.
The reason for hashing is to ensure people do not tamper with the block or even the previous block because each block is intertwined with it's previous. In cases where someone wants to tamper with a transaction eg let's say Person A sent money to Person B but person A wants to reverse the transaction by removing it from the chain, it will be required of them to remove the transaction and regenerate the random number again which is quite energy-consuming to do. This process is known as mining.
To store a block in the blockchain we need to have,
Series of transactions coupled into a block,
The random number of the last block ( hash of the last block)
A random number for the present block (hash of the present block)
After the process of validating the block, the person who was able to validate the block will transmit the process to other people connected to it. Remember we said a blockchain is a public ledger so once a valid block is validated and added to the chain by a Miner, He/she must transmit the process to other miners so they can add it to their own chain.
This article is to give a basic understanding of how it works, in the coming articles I am going to explain some concepts like :
Forks or Forking.