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  • Writer's pictureScott Spanier

1. WTF is Blockchain? 30 in 3

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Let's face it, no one wants to spend more than three minutes learning something new. I've decided to cut the crap and teach you everything you need to know about cryptocurrencies and blockchains in 30 posts, each taking no more than 3 minutes to read. Don't expect to be an expert after reading all of them though, simply expect to be confident in your knowledge enough to have a conversation about it. Let's get right to it.

 

The easiest way to understand blockchain is to look at it for what it really is, a ledger. Blockchain is like a digital book recording all things that happen on it, never to be changed. It guarantees that nothing can be altered by creating a super computer that is running on every computer in the network. This concept is called decentralization.


The reason it's called a chain? Think of one chain link as the first ever block (called the "genesis block"); This block has rules in place for how the entire network will operate and creates all of the coins that will ever exist on the network. Some of these coins get given to people, some remain untouched by anyone. When an individual wants to make a transaction, they post it to the network and specific computers designed to solve a random puzzle confirm their transaction (along with many others) by creating a new block. This block is then linked (like a chain) to the previous one (in this case the first block) because the information used to create the new block was generated using information from the previous block. If you tried to change anything about a previously confirmed block, you would be altering the information of all future blocks. Each computer would be able to recognize this and would therefore reject the new information.


Got more than three minutes? Keep going!


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