Blockchain refers to a type of data structure that enables identifying and tracking transactions digitally and sharing this information across a distributed network of computers, creating in a sense a distributed trust network. The distributed ledger technology offered by blockchain provides a transparent and secure means for tracking the ownership and transfer of assets.
Blockchain Technology in Bitcoin and at the Enterprise Level
Initially used as the transactional technology behind the cryptocurrency (or digital currency) Bitcoin, blockchain technology has started to gain traction in the enterprise as well. As is the case with Bitcoin, blockchain enables enterprises to make and verify transactions over a network without the need for a central authority.
In addition to tracking assets and the transfer of assets throughout supply chains, enterprises are also looking to use blockchain to electronically proffer and enforce contracts.
Blockchain has gained considerable traction in recent years as Bitcoin's use has increased and the technology has become more mainstream with companies. In fact, according to a study released in May 2016 by Pegasystems, Cognizant and Marketforce, many global financial services retailers see blockchain as having the potential to be the most significant technological innovation since the Internet.
How Blockchain Works
Blockchain uses cryptography to create a distributed trust network wherein each participant on the network is able to manipulate the digital ledger of transactions securely and without requiring a central authority.
In a sense, a blockchain serves as a global spreadsheet or ledger that anyone on the network can view at any time. All the transactions are verified, cleared and recorded in a block that is encrypted and saved periodically and is linked to the preceding block, creating a chain.
The blockchain process of securely and permanently time-stamping and recording all transactions makes it extremely difficult for a user to alter the ledger once a block in a blockchain has been stored.
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
The following facts and statistics capture the changing landscape of cloud computing and how service providers and customers are keeping up with... Read More »Facts about Computer Science: Education and Jobs
The following computer science facts and statistics provide a quick introduction to the changing trends in education and related careers. Read More »Texting & Chat Abbreviations
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »