A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger that is shared among computer network nodes. A blockchain, like a database, stores information electronically in a digital format. Blockchains are best known for their critical role in cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin, where they keep a secure and decentralized record of transactions. The blockchain’s innovation is that it ensures the fidelity and security of a data record and generates trust without the need for a trusted third party.
The way data is structured differs significantly between a traditional database and a blockchain. A blockchain collects information in groups known as blocks, which hold sets of data. When a block’s storage capacity is reached, it is closed and linked to the previously filled block, forming a data chain known as the blockchain. All new information that follows that newly added block is compiled into a newly formed block, which is then added to the chain once it is complete.