11 Oct Moana and Blockchain
Most people think that blockchain is like rocket science. L10N will try to explain, in the simplest possible way, what it is.
Have you ever watched the Disney movie, Moana? Even if you haven’t, there’s no problem.
Imagine an Island with a village, and this village has a headman.
At the top of this Island, there’s something like a sanctuary where, every time there’s a new headman, a new stone is added.
That stone has carved the name of the previous headman and the name of the new one.
Besides being at the top of the Island, this pile of stones is surrounded by a completely impenetrable fence.
To open the fence, there’s a lock with a different key slot for each family in the village.
To open the door you need all the keys from each family.
This means that, to add a stone, the chief of each family is required to climb up to the peak of the Island with their respective keys and open the door.
As every stone is engraved with the names of the previous and new headmen, it’s almost impossible to change old stones because the more recent ones would have to be changed too.
This is blockchain. But instead of stones, it’s blocks; instead of headmen it’s hashes and instead of keys it’s cryptographic codes.
Now using the accurate words:
Blockchain is a digital record of transactions (with cryptocurrencies). Each individual record is a block and each list of blocks is a chain (block + chain).
Multiple computers (chiefs of the families) validate every transaction; this process is called a peer-to-peer network. A single computer can’t add blocks because there is always the need for approval from the system.
When a block is added, it’s always linked to the previous (the name of the previous headman in the Island), and cryptographic codes – the hashes – are used to connect them. In other words, every block has its own hash plus the hash from the previous block. The slightest change to any block, causes its hash to change.
The security of this system is almost impenetrable. Let’s imagine that a hacker wants to hack one of the blocks. The minute he accesses the block, the hash automatically changes, and all the following blocks fail.
When you hear about Blockchain, it’s usually in reference to Bitcoins. Why is this? Bitcoin is no more, no less a cryptocurrency that can be used for digital transactions, which in turn can be recorded in a Blockchain.
There’s always a simpler way to make sense of complicated terms, we hope this attempt at an explanation has been enlightening.