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What does Blockchain mean in crypto terms?

A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. This allows participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively.

It is a particularly secure technology because it is resistant to modification of the data. The concept of blockchain was first introduced in 2008 by an individual (or group of individuals) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in the process of creating Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency. However, since then, the technology has found numerous applications beyond just cryptocurrencies.

In a blockchain, transactions are grouped together in blocks. Each block contains a list of transactions, as well as a cryptographic hash of the previous block, which links the blocks together in a chain. This chain of blocks is stored across a network of computers, known as nodes, each of which has a copy of the entire blockchain.

Every time a new transaction occurs, it is verified by a majority of the nodes in the network, then added to a new block. Once the block is filled with a certain number of transactions, it is added to the end of the chain. The use of cryptographic hashes ensures the integrity and chronological order of the blockchain, making it nearly impossible for a single user to alter past transactions.

One key feature of blockchains is their decentralization. Unlike traditional databases, which are typically stored on a single server and controlled by a single entity, blockchains are distributed across a network of computers, each with an equal say in the verification of transactions. This means that no single entity has complete control over the data in the blockchain, making it highly resistant to censorship and corruption.

In addition to cryptocurrencies, blockchains have a wide variety of other potential applications, such as tracking the supply chain of goods, recording votes in an election, verifying identities, and much more. Blockchain technology is seen by many as a major breakthrough in how we record and verify transactions and data.

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