This article is a gentle introduction to blockchain diagram technology and assumes minimal technical knowledge. It attempts to describe “what it is” rather than “why should I care”.

So you want to use a blockchain for that? Most of the time though, they are talking about distributed ledgers, i. From the bag, you can take out different bricks and put them together in different ways to create different results. What’s the difference between a blockchain a a normal database? Very loosely, a blockchain system is a package which contains a normal database plus some software that adds new rows, validates that new rows conform to pre-agreed rules, and listens and broadcasts new rows to its peers across a network, ensuring that all peers have the same data in their databases. Relax these, and you don’t need many of the convoluted mechanisms of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin Blockchain ecosystem acts like a network of replicated databases, each containing the same list of past bitcoin transactions.

Each validator independently checks the payment and block data being passed around. There are rules in place to make the network operate as intended. Bitcoin’s complexity comes from its ideology. The aim of bitcoin was to be decentralised, i. This has influenced how bitcoin has developed. Not all blockchain ecosystems need to have the same mechanisms, especially if participants can be identified and trusted to behave. These create cost and complexity to running this blockchain.

You’ll behave because you’ve signed this piece of paper. This changes the technical decisions as to which bricks are used to build the solution. Warning: this section isn’t so gentle, as it goes into detail into each of the elements above. I recommend getting a cup of tea. A blockchain is just a file. A blockchain by itself is just a data structure.