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Introduction to Blockchain Technology

What is Blockchain Technology? Blockchain technology is a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions in a verifiable and permanent way. Blockchain allows digital information to be distributed across a network, making it difficult to be hacked or altered. It was originally developed as the underlying…


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What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions in a verifiable and permanent way. Blockchain allows digital information to be distributed across a network, making it difficult to be hacked or altered. It was originally developed as the underlying technology for Bitcoin, but has since found many other potential applications.

Key Features of Blockchain

Decentralized – Blockchain data is not stored in a central location. Instead, it is shared across a network of computers globally. This makes hacking or altering the data very difficult.

Transparent – All transactions on a blockchain are visible to everyone in the network. This creates full transparency and accountability.

Secure – Cryptography like hashing and digital signatures are used to secure transactions. This prevents fraud or tampering.

Immutable – Once data is written to a blockchain, it is extremely difficult to change. This provides a permanent record that inspires trust.

Programmable – Smart contracts automate processes on the blockchain. Programs self-execute when conditions are met.

How Does Blockchain Technology Work?

A blockchain is essentially a continuously expanding list of records called blocks. These blocks are linked and secured using cryptography. Here’s how it works:

Transaction – A transaction or record is requested to be added to the blockchain. This could be money, contracts, identification, or other information.

Verification – The requested transaction is broadcast to a peer-to-peer network of computers known as nodes. The network of nodes validates the transaction and the user’s status using algorithms.

Structure – Once verified, the transaction is combined with other transactions to create a new block of data for the blockchain.

Hash – Each block is given a unique cryptographic hash. A hash is like a digital fingerprint that is unique to each block.

Addition – The new block is then added to the existing blockchain. The block becomes permanently recorded in a transparent, immutable manner.

This entire process takes place across a decentralized network and does not require a central authority. Validation is done through consensus across the nodes. This way, trust is established even without intermediaries.

Key Blockchain Applications

While blockchain technology was intended initially for financial transactions, its versatility has led to many other applications across multiple industries:

Cryptocurrency – The most well-known application of blockchain is in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. The digital, decentralized currencies use blockchain technology for regulation and operation of their payment systems.

Supply Chain – Blockchain introduces transparency and automation to supply chain management. It allows tracing of products from origin to purchase.

Voting – Blockchain based voting systems promote transparency and prevent tampering or altering of votes. Results can be verified in real-time.

Credentials – Blockchain can store diplomas, certificates and IDs in digital wallets. This prevents fakes and allows instant verification.

Real Estate – Property sales, transfers of deeds and land registry management can be done seamlessly using blockchain technology.

Healthcare – Secure storage of medical records, tracking of drugs and regulation of health data can benefit from blockchain.

The Future of Blockchain

While still in its early stages, blockchain is poised to disrupt many industries. Here are some trends that indicate the future of blockchain technology:

– Increased transparency, traceability and trust in processes.

– Cost reductions from disintermediation across sectors like banking, real estate, supply chain etc.

– Decentralized finance (DeFi) aims to recreate traditional financial systems without intermediaries.

– Integration of blockchain with IoT, AI, big data and other emerging technologies.

– Adoption by governments to streamline administration and record management.

– Mainstream corporate usage for improved security, accountability and efficiency.

– Development of industry standards and compliance regulations.

Blockchain has sparked a revolution by challenging existing systems. However, for mainstream acceptance, regulation, standardization, ease-of-use and compliance are essential. The technology holds immense potential to benefit several sectors by establishing trust and accountability.


In summary, blockchain technology allows digital records to be distributed but not copied or altered. Its decentralized nature provides transparency while the use of cryptographic encryption assures security. These qualities lend blockchain to be used in cryptocurrency, supply chains, healthcare, government, real estate and more. As the technology matures, it aims to make processes more democratic, secure, transparent and efficient across industries.


[1] Nofer, M., Gomber, P., Hinz, O., & Schiereck, D. (2017). Blockchain. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 59(3), 183-187.

[2] Tapscott, D., & Tapscott, A. (2017). How blockchain is changing finance. Harvard Business Review, 1-7.

[3] Christidis, K., & Devetsikiotis, M. (2016). Blockchains and smart contracts for the internet of things. Ieee Access, 4, 2292-2303.

[4] Iansiti, M., & Lakhani, K. R. (2017). The truth about blockchain. Harvard Business Review, 95(1), 118-127.

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