BlockChain — Death by Definitions
Blockchain Technology

BlockChain — Death by Definitions

 

Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency (not just a digital currency) and the technology that enables bitcoin is termed as Blockchain which is completely absurd because blockchain is just a data structure.

The ecosystem of data structure + network protocol + consensus algorithm + incentivisation (mining) leads to a complete decentralization that the bitcoin whitepaper aimed to achieve. Let’s look at the popular definitions of Blockchain and try to define our own.

Martin Jee

Blockchain is a software solution (protocol) for reaching agreement (consensus) within a leaderless (decentralized) group of peers (peer to peer), that events have occurred, as they occur (synchronized) and that of these each events is recorded in an indisputable (immutable) historical list (ledger) which each peer has a copy of (distributed).

He confused blockchain with bitcoin protocol. Otherwise it’s a pretty good definition.

Investopedia:

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Webopedia:

Blockchain refers to a type of data structure that enables identifying and tracking transactions digitally and sharing this information across a distributed networkof 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.

Standard Chartered Bank:

The technology behind Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies is a distributed ledger data base for recording transactions, more commonly known as blocks.
Blockchain technology enables users to share their ledger of transactions. The record of events gets distributed to all participants in a given network, who in turn use their computers to validate the transactions; thereby removing the need to have a third party intermediary such as a bank or central clearing centre. Blockchain records can only be updated by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system and, once entered, information can never be erased — providing a detailed audit trail of all associated events.

When a bank defines it, you know how you should take it.

Google:

A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

Heptagon:

Blockchain is a digital data storage mechanism where each record (transaction / event) is time stamped (chronological) in a secure way (hashed) and clubbed together (blocks) with a reference to the previous block (eg: merkle tree) thus forming a chain of blocks.

A network of such blocks spread across incentivised nodes (miners) have a way to share/ transmit (eg: whisper protocol) data and reach consensus (Proof of Work, Proof of Stake etc) without a centralised book keeper / institution. This is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This ecosystem forms the foundation of a purely de-centralised peer-peer economy without intermediaries such as Banks, Governments, Hosting Solutions, Payment gateways, Ubers, Airbnbs etc.

In the following posts we will break down each jargon and give y‘all a non-BS filled account of this new & exciting decentralised world.

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