What is a Blockchain and How Does it Work?

Bitcoin and Blockchain are two topics that go hand in hand. Without Blockchain, there would be no Bitcoin, and without Bitcoin, there would be no need for Blockchain. While the vast majority of people are aware of what Bitcoin is (a digital form of currency for those of you who don’t!), not so many people know about the ins and outs of Blockchain; what it is, what it’s used for and how it works.

Blockchain is essentially the reason Bitcoin exists. It is the technology that allows Bitcoin to function. It is like one large database that is able to store every Bitcoin-related transaction ever to occur, made by anyone anywhere in the world. In the same way that real money goes through banks, and everything is recorded and stored there, Bitcoin goes through Blockchains. The fact that Bitcoin goes through Blockchains as opposed to banks is just one of many reasons as to why it’s a popular method of payment.

One of the intriguing aspects to Blockchain is that it can be accessed by anyone at any time. While personal details from each transaction are not given away, each transaction is visible to any person in the world- for example, X amount of Bitcoins were spent at 8 am in Paris on this day. Blockchain being so open also means that a lot of individuals can get involved with the currency- these people are often called ‘miners,’ and they work hard to help file the transactions in the database, solve coded problems and the like, all in exchange for Bitcoins.

The technology that goes into this heavily encrypted Blockchain technology is really quite ingenious, and while it was primarily used for Bitcoin purposes, it is now used in over 700 different businesses, companies, and industries. There is even a lot of potential in terms of future growth for Blockchain technology too, with people discussing how it could eventually end up being used for things such as voting and copyrighting digital content, along with gambling on the blockchain.