Now You Know: What is a Blockchain

authorJan Zavesky Jul 15, 2019

We all have heard the words, „blockchain“ and „cryptocurrency.“ Few people, however, seem to be able to explain it or have a basic understanding of how it works. We at MYtitle will take a moment to simplify a few key terms.

Let's go through the basics.

A blockchain is simply a computer database that stores transactional information among a computer network. The servers on this network that maintain a blockchain are called, “nodes”. Imagine a blockchain as a page in a financial record, e.g. John pays money to Sue. Sue receives the money from John. The transaction between John and Sue is verified, encrypted into the block where the transaction is saved. Once their transaction becomes part of a block of information, it is timestamped. The timestamp includes the date and time for this new unique piece of information in the block.

Each block has a unique code that acts as its own fingerprint. The fingerprint is called a hash. To join the block of information with a previous block of information, the previous block’s hash is also included. One hash identifies the unique block and the other hash matches the earlier block. These two hashes link the two blocks of information and it becomes part of a larger „blockchain“.

A bit more about a hash…

Imagine that you upload a screenplay to MYtitle, once the file's metadata (information relating to the file, itself) is encrypted and stored into a blockchain there will be a unique hash for it. It is like a digital fingerprint for the file. If you were to change even a small detail, (e.g. deleting a comma) the file would then no longer have the same fingerprint being the hash would be entirely different. This makes the blockchain technology almost impossible to change in the ledger/record. It is nearly immutable or in other words unalterable.

The network is decentralised and the information is jointly shared with the nodes. The integrity of a block is shared by the nodes and not stored by a central authority or endangered to being a target of an attack. It is for this reason that cryptocurrencies and firms like Mytitle rely on the security of a blockchain network.

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