What is blockchain?

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The blockchain is a distributed ledger of transactions used to securely and immutably record and store data. It consists of a series of data blocks linked chronologically, using encryption technology to ensure data integrity. Each block contains a series of transactions, which can be of any type, such as money transfers or property registrations.

Originally developed to serve as a ledger for cryptocurrency transactions like Bitcoin, blockchain is now used for various purposes, including supply chain management, product traceability, and the creation of smart contracts. The appeal of blockchain lies in its decentralization, meaning there is no central authority controlling the ledger, and its immutability, meaning once data is recorded, it cannot be altered or deleted. This makes blockchain ideal for managing sensitive data and creating transparent and reliable systems.

Blockchain applications are diverse, extending beyond its use as a ledger for cryptocurrency transactions. For example, businesses can use blockchain for supply chain management to track the origin and path of products, ensuring their quality and safety. Additionally, blockchain can be used to create smart contracts, which are computer codes that automatically execute contract conditions once met. This can simplify and expedite the contract negotiation and signing process, reducing errors and abuses.

An example of blockchain use is IBM’s supply chain management platform called IBM Food Trust, which utilizes blockchain to trace the origin and path of food products, ensuring their quality and safety. Other examples of blockchain use may include creating secure and transparent electronic voting systems.


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