Beyond bitcoin: 5 things we need to know about blockchain technology

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Talk of blockchain record is everywhere, it seems, interjection to a arise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies—but what is it, and what does it do?

1. Don’t call it “the” blockchain

The initial thing to know about a blockchain is, there isn’t one: there are many. Blockchains are distributed, tamper-proof open ledgers of transactions. The many obvious is a record of bitcoin transactions, though in further to tracking cryptocurrencies, blockchains are being used to record loans, batch transfers, contracts, medical information and even votes.

2. Security, transparency: a network’s run by us

There’s no executive management in a blockchain system: Participating computers sell exchange for inclusion in a bill they share over a peer-to-peer network. Each node in a sequence keeps a duplicate of a ledger, and can trust others’ copies of it since of a approach they are signed. Periodically, they hang adult a latest sell in a new retard of information to be combined to a chain. Alongside a transaction data, any retard contains a computational “hash” of itself and of a prior retard in a chain.

Hashes, or digests, are brief digital representations of incomparable chunks of data.

Modifying or faking a transaction in an progressing retard would change the hash, requiring

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