What Is a Blockchain? The Simple Explanation – The Street Crypto: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news, advice, analysis and more – TheStreet


Seriously, What the Hell Is a Blockchain?

Blockchains are often explained with a lot of tech jargon by people in mathematics, cryptography, and network engineering. It turns out that blockchains are more straightforward than you might think, at least for the most part.

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As a person born in 1995, I’ve always considered myself computer savvy, yet I struggled to understand what a blockchain was for quite some time. What finally clicked for me was starting with the most basic concepts and slowly building up from there. 

So, in this explainer, we’ll start with the simple concept of a computer and build up to a blockchain. If you are already familiar with the concepts of servers, databases and distributed databases, feel free to skip to the blockchain section.

Fast Facts:

  • A blockchain is a form of database, more specifically a distributed database.
  • The data stored on a blockchain are cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Blockchains store data (transactions) in chronological groups, known as blocks, instead of folders and tables like normal databases. 
  • Bitcoin’s blockchain is open and accessible to anyone, unlike a centralized database run by a company or government.
  • Unlike databases where information can be added, removed or edited, blockchains can only be added to.

What is a Computer?

A computer is a piece of electronic equipment that can read and manipulate data. Computers come in many forms including desktops, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles and cellphones.

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