BTC = 6 345 USD +0.4%
ETH = 438 USD +1.3%
XRP = 0.461 USD -2.1%

What is

The question “What is blockchain” became one of the most popular searches on Google in recent years. Crowds of curious people are seeking for “blockchain for dummies”, trying to find “blockchain tutorial”, “blockchain meaning” in order to get blockchain explained by someone.

So, what is the blockchain technology?

Put simply, blockchain is data that’s stored and maintained by a decentralized network of computers.

This trusted technology can radically change the world as we know it, redefining how we deal with data and transfer value. As an example, blockchains lets us send digital money peer-to-peer without going through any bank. It’s technology that can eliminate the middleman in many traditional sectors: banking, insurance, entertainment, government and more. Although it’s still at an early stage of development, blockchain technology is already being used in real life for cryptocurrencies, storage of government data, and so on, and many in both the private and public sectors are exploring potential use cases.

The best-known blockchain to date is that used for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

How does it

Blockchain technology is explained in many books, but let’s take a look at the key points and consider the example of Bitcoin:

Blockchain technology records information related to Bitcoin transactions, such as where the money came from and where it went, the time of the transaction, the amount, any fees paid, and other data. All this information is stored in a chain of “blocks”, which are a kind of container. In the case of Bitcoin, each block contains data for about 2,000 transactions (at least as of late 2017). Such blocks of transactions are back-linked with the help of cryptography.

Blockchains can store many different kinds of data: the details of cryptocurrency transactions, the contents of a land register, insurance records, health history, car accident history, changes of ownership, etc. They can also serve as a platform for other applications.

Blockchains, as distributed and timestamped ledgers of all transactions, are stored on a decentralized (in most cases) network of computers, also called ‘nodes’. Each computer stores a copy of the whole blockchain in question.

Statistics and graphs

Hashrate Distribution: An estimation of hashrate distribution amongst the largest mining pools and current Crypto Currencies

Price Volume (24h) Change
Bitcoin $6 345 $3 410 520 +0.4%
Ethereum $435.65 $1 418 630 000 +1.3%
Dash $229.19 $153 088 000 -0.9%
Litecoin $80.53 $283 573 000 +2.2%
Monero $127.35 $41 956 900 +3.75%
Steem $1.26 $902 686 -2.88%

Types of

Public (such as Bitcoin), where anyone can join the network of nodes.

Private (mostly used by businesses), where only those with permission can add their computers to the network.