How Does A Blockchain Work?
Here’s a simple explanation. In some of the leading implementations, a blockchain is a distributed database that continuously maintains a growing list of records of transactions organized in blocks. Each block has a timestamp of when it was created and a link to the block before it is added using cryptographic techniques.
A blockchain can be used to transparently and securely store and transfer value or ownership over digital assets. One of the reasons is that it is generally said that there is no way to alter the blockchain retroactively. Very occasionally diverging versions of a blockchain may co-exist — these are called forks, and get quickly resolved back into a single version. Forks infrequently happen on major blockchains and have decreased over recent years.
Blockchain data is held on a network of computers. Every time a new block gets added to the blockchain, it is broadcast to the network and verified by multiple computers called nodes. These nodes add the new block to their copy of the blockchain, and the process repeats itself over and over again creating a permanent record of all transactions. Incentives surrounding the updating and maintaining the ledger ensures the network is difficult to be tampered with.
Blockchains are well suited for various uses - they can securely store and transfer data and enable smart contracts and decentralized applications.