How Does The Tech Behind Blockchain Work?

Blockchain technology is at the core of most cryptocurrencies, providing an innovative database solution. By distributing identical copies of a database across an entire network, blockchain enhances security and makes it highly resistant to hacking or fraudulent activities.

While cryptocurrency is its primary application, blockchain has vast potential across various sectors. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum operate on blockchain technology, essentially serving as a transparent list of transactions accessible to all users. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain records every instance of bitcoin transactions.

This decentralised system enables online value transfer without the involvement of intermediaries such as banks or credit card companies.


What Is Blockchain Technology?


Blockchain technology is a way of recording information that is extremely difficult to alter, hack, or misuse. It operates as a distributed ledger, where transactions are duplicated and shared across a network of computers, ensuring transparency and security.

Basically, blockchain is a system that stores transactional records, known as blocks, in multiple databases, referred to as the chain. These databases are connected through a network of peer-to-peer nodes. This setup is commonly called a digital ledger.

Each transaction in this ledger is verified by the digital signature of the owner, which ensures the authenticity and security of the transaction. Essentially, this digital ledger functions like a shared Google spreadsheet, where all participants can view the data but cannot corrupt it.


What Is A Distributed Ledger?


A ledger is essentially a record-keeping system used to track financial transactions. It’s like a digital or physical book where all transactions, such as purchases, sales, and payments, are recorded in chronological order.

A distributed ledger is a digital database that is maintained independently by multiple participants or nodes within a network. Unlike traditional centralised ledgers, where a single entity controls and manages the database, a distributed ledger operates across a decentralised network of computers.

Each participant in the network holds an identical copy of the ledger, ensuring transparency and eliminating the need for a central authority to validate transactions. When a transaction occurs, it is recorded on each copy of the ledger simultaneously, and all copies are updated in real-time.

This distributed nature enhances security and reliability, as there is no single point of failure vulnerable to hacking or manipulation. Additionally, because every participant has a copy of the ledger, consensus mechanisms ensure that all transactions are verified and agreed upon by the network before being added to the ledger.


A Simplified Summary Of How Blockchain Technology Works


Blockchain technology works like a digital ledger that records transactions securely and transparently. Imagine a chain of blocks, where each block stores transactional information. These blocks are linked together and distributed across a network of computers, called nodes.

When a transaction occurs, it’s verified by these nodes and added to a block. Each block has a unique code, called a hash, which links it to the previous block, creating a chain. This chain is immutable, meaning once a block is added, it can’t be changed.

Because the ledger is decentralised, no single entity controls it, making it secure and resistant to tampering. This transparency and security make blockchain suitable for various applications, from financial transactions to identity management.


The Components Of Blockchain Technology


Together, these components create a secure system that can support various applications across different industries, from finance to supply chain management.



A blockchain is composed of blocks, each containing three main elements:

  1. The Header: Includes metadata such as a timestamp and the previous block’s hash.
  2. Data Section: Holds the actual transactional information.
  3. Hash: A unique cryptographic value that represents the block and is used for verification.



Cryptographic Keys

Each user has a pair of cryptographic keys: a private key and a public key. These keys enable secure transactions. The private key is used to sign transactions, ensuring authenticity, while the public key allows others to verify the signature.


Distributed Ledger

Blockchain functions as a distributed ledger, with each participant (node) maintaining a copy of the entire blockchain. This decentralisation ensures transparency and prevents a single point of failure.


Consensus Mechanisms

Blockchain relies on consensus mechanisms to validate transactions. Common methods include Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS). These mechanisms ensure that all participants agree on the validity of transactions before they are added to the blockchain.


Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. They automatically execute actions when predefined conditions are met, reducing the need for intermediaries.



Blockchain’s decentralised nature distributes decision-making across a network of nodes, enhancing security and trust. This eliminates reliance on a central authority and mitigates risks associated with data manipulation.


What Is Blockchain Mining?


Blockchain mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to a blockchain ledger, specifically in the context of Bitcoin. This decentralised process involves a network of computers, known as miners, that use their computational power to solve complex mathematical problems. When a problem is solved, the transaction is verified, added to a block, and then attached to the existing blockchain.

Unlike traditional financial systems that rely on a central authority, Bitcoin transactions are verified through this peer-to-peer network. This ensures transparency and security without the need for a central clearinghouse. The term “mining” is used because it requires significant computational effort, similar to the extraction of precious metals, and has a finite supply.

Mining not only secures the network but also releases new bitcoins into circulation. However, the number of bitcoins that can be mined decreases over time, with a maximum limit of 21 million bitcoins. This ensures a controlled and limited supply.


How Is Blockchain Applied Outside Of Bitcoin?


While Bitcoin often steals the spotlight, the applications of blockchain technology extend far beyond cryptocurrencies. Here are some examples:


Supply Chain Management: Blockchain enables a transparent and secure system for tracking goods from their source to their destination. This is particularly valuable in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, and fashion, where authenticity is crucial.

Record Keeping And Identity Management: Blockchain provides a secure platform for storing and managing important documents like medical records, academic transcripts, and voting data. This reduces the risk of tampering and empowers individuals to control their own data.

Financial Services: Blockchain streamlines processes like cross-border payments and loan approvals, while also enhancing security in stock trading and other financial transactions.

Voting Systems: Blockchain offers the potential for secure and tamper-proof voting systems, which could boost voter confidence and participation in elections.

Internet of Things (IoT): With the increasing number of connected devices, blockchain ensures secure data exchange and record-keeping among these interconnected devices.

These examples represent just a fraction of blockchain’s potential applications. Industries continue to explore its use in intellectual property protection, content creation, and the sharing economy.

In conclusion, blockchain technology, with its decentralised and transparent nature, has far-reaching applications beyond Bitcoin. From ensuring the authenticity of products in supply chain management to securely storing vital documents in record-keeping and identity management, blockchain is revolutionising various sectors. Its potential extends to streamlining financial services, enhancing voting systems, and securing data exchange in the Internet of Things. While challenges like scalability persist, the core strengths of blockchain – security, transparency, and immutability – make it a promising tool for transforming industries and driving innovation.