If you have not spent the last couple of years in a hermitage, you’ve probably heard about bitcoins and blockchain. Now, even schoolchildren are actively engaged in mining. Let’s try to figure out what is really blockchain and why everyone is going crazy.
The heart of the matter
Blockchain technology is primarily designed for secure storage of data. Here you can store any important information, from credit obligations to new currencies. The reliability of the entire structure is due to the fact that the register of data is not concentrated somewhere in one place but is distributed among thousands of users around the world. Thus, the very possibility of a hacker attack and some kind of clandestine manipulation of information is excluded.
Actually, the blockchain is just a chain of cryptographically connected blocks. A new block is added to the end of the whole chain, all blocks together are connected by mathematical algorithms. This technology can be used not only to record financial transactions, but for everything that has value.
The hash function is a special algorithm that takes input data (any, from image to binary code) and creates from it a code sequence of a specific length. Same files will produce the same hash on the output.
The easiest way is to imagine the blockchain as a kind of database, duplicated tens of thousands of times throughout the network. The database is updated constantly, which ensures transparency and verification of information.
Safer than bank
That sounds ambitious, but according to many experts, the blockchain really became the guarantor of information accounting. The use of this technology excludes the influence of the human factor on the outcome of the transaction: without the agreement of the parties involved, even changes to the general register of data will not be made.
Protection against intrusion
Copies of the database are kept on all participating computers. Decentralised system makes hacker attack impossible. In addition, the hashing process is irreversible, which allows reliable security of personal data: an attempt to change a transaction or an original document will result in a new hash, different from the existing one in the system.