Blockchain - What's All the Hype About Blockchains and Bitcoin?


Blockchain is a method of storing data in such a manner that it is difficult or impossible to alter, hack, or defraud it.

A blockchain is a digital log of transactions that is copied and distributed throughout the blockchain's complete network of computer systems.

Each block on the chain comprises a number of transactions, and whenever a new transaction happens on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to the ledger of each participant. The decentralized database controlled by several participants is known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

Blockchain is a sort of distributed ledger technology in which transactions are recorded using a hash, which is an immutable cryptographic signature.


To establish an unbreakable and unchangeable chain, blockchain combines the identification of the previous block with the identification of the next block.

However, how can you keep the data manageable when additional blocks are added?

The combination of a hashing algorithm and a condensing data structure known as a Merkle Tree is the key to making blockchain data manageable – and secure.

After that, two transaction hashes will be combined and run through the hash algorithm to generate a new, unique hash. This process of combining multiple transactions into new hashes is repeated until only one hash remains – the ‘root' hash of several transactions.

Hashes are unusual in that they only function in one direction, which is a vital security characteristic for blockchains.

While the same data will always yield the same hash of numbers and letters, it is impossible to reverse the process and interpret the original data using the numbers and letters.

Merkle Tree?

If you repeat the hashing procedure with precisely identical transactions, you'll get precisely the same hashes. Any modification in any section of the data will result in a completely new hash, impacting every iteration of hashes all the way to the root, allowing anybody using the blockchain to confirm that the data has not been tampered with. A Merkle Tree is what this is called.
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Merkle Trees are used to reduce the amount of data that has to be saved, transferred, or broadcast over the network by combining several hashed transactions into a single root hash. The final root hash will be a standard size since each transaction is hashed separately, then concatenated and hashed again.

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT):

DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) is a technique that allows a decentralized digital database to run securely. The necessity for a central authority to maintain a manipulation check is eliminated with distributed networks. Using encryption, DLT provides for the safe and accurate storing of any information. Using "keys" and cryptographic signatures, the same may be obtained.

Once the data is saved, it becomes an immutable database that is subject to the network's rules.

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Many people usually get confused with these two terms.

Blockchain is the technology that powers the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, however it is not the only distributed ledger system based on blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, the technology's decentralization has resulted in multiple schisms or forks inside the Bitcoin network, resulting in offshoots of the ledger in which some miners use a blockchain with one set of rules and others use a blockchain with a different set of rules.

Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin SV are all separate cryptocurrencies from the original Bitcoin. Because these cryptocurrency blockchains have smaller networks, they are more vulnerable to hacking assaults, such as the one that hit Bitcoin Gold in 2018.

How did it come into existence?

Let’s go back to the origin of Bitcoin.

A groundbreaking article titled Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic currency system surfaced on a little-known internet forum in late 2008, at the time of the financial crisis. It was written by a mysterious figure known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for the author's actual identity.

Satoshi believed that banks and governments wielded far too much power, which they used for their own gain.

Satoshi envisioned a new sort of money called Bitcoin as a way to fix this: a cryptocurrency that was not regulated or administered by central banks or governments, and that you could transmit anywhere in the world for free, with no one in charge.

Nobody paid attention to Satoshi's outlandish ideas at first, but as time went on, more and more people began to acquire and use Bitcoin. Many people thought that was the way the money would go in the future, and the worse the large banks acted, the more popular it grew.


Bitcoin has expanded to a network of roughly 10,000 "nodes," or participants, who utilize the Proof of Work mechanism to authenticate transactions and mine bitcoin since its inception in 2009.

This democracy lasted until the invention of ASICs, which outperformed other, less powerful devices, and businesses began to benefit from amassing miners and mining technologies. Individuals may still participate in the Bitcoin process, However, it is costly to set up, and the return on investment is subject to the very fluctuating value of bitcoin.

Huge mining pools are now owned or controlled by large organizations, and power is once again being centralized. This development has tainted Satoshi's initial vision for blockchain, in which members' "power" was supposed to be dispersed evenly, but is now concentrated in the hands of a half-dozen mining giants.

How does a transaction get into the blockchain?

A transaction must be validated and authorized before it can be put into the blockchain.

Before a transaction can be put to the blockchain, it must go through many important phases. Today, we'll look at cryptographic key authentication, proof-of-work authorization, the role of mining, and the more recent adoption of proof-of-stake protocols in later blockchain networks.

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Although the original blockchain was supposed to function without a central authority (i.e., no bank or regulator deciding who may transact), transactions must still be validated.

To do so, cryptographic keys are utilized, which are a string of data (like a password) that uniquely identifies a person and gives access to their "account" or "wallet" of value on the system.

Each user has a private key and a public key that is visible to everyone. Using them together generates a secure digital identity that may be used to authenticate users via digital signatures and to ‘unlock' transactions.


After the users have agreed on the transaction, it must be authorized, or authorized, before it can be added to a block in the chain

The decision to add a transaction to the chain on a public blockchain is decided by consensus.

This implies that a majority of the network's "nodes" (or computers) must agree that the transaction is genuine. The owners of the network's equipment are compensated for verifying transactions. This process is known as "proof of work."

Proof of Work:

To add a block to the chain, Proof of Work asks the individuals who own the machines in the network to solve a challenging mathematical problem Mining is the process of resolving an issue, and ‘miners' are generally compensated in cryptocurrency. However, mining is a difficult task.

The mathematical challenge can only be solved via trial and error, with a 1 in 5.9 trillion chance of succeeding. It necessitates a significant amount of computational power, which consumes a significant quantity of energy.

This means that the benefits of mining must surpass the cost of the computers and the electricity used to power them because a single computer would take years to solve the mathematical problem.

The Problem with Proof of Work:

Miners sometimes pool their resources through firms that aggregate a big group of miners to achieve economies of scale. The profits and fees supplied by the blockchain network are then shared among these miners.

These massive corporations now have the computational and electrical resources required to operate and build a blockchain network based on Proof of Work certification.

Proof of Stake:

Later blockchain networks incorporated “Proof of Stake” validation consensus methods, in which members must have a stake in the blockchain – often by holding some of the cryptocurrency – to be eligible to select, verify, and validate transactions. 

Because no mining is necessary, this saves a significant amount of computational power. Furthermore, blockchain technology has grown to incorporate "Smart Contracts," which execute transactions automatically when specific criteria are satisfied.


Blockchain technology is getting adopted, researched, and implemented by a lot of people who wish to pursue or broaden their horizons in their business/career. Success is not easy, but that is what makes the effort spent all the more worth it.

Written By - Kirthiga Morais P
Edited By - Daniel Deepak Charles

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