While the internet is slowly but surely maturing, certain parts are still rather challenging to navigate. One of the most prominent examples is securely sharing information over the web.
What Is a Blockchain?
A blockchain is a decentralized database of information. A decentralized database means that no single person controls the information; rather, it is distributed across a network of computers. While these computers aren’t typically dedicated to keeping this information, as it is just an additional task added to their existing workload, the result is that anyone can access it thanks to the internet connection.
How Does a Blockchain Work?
A blockchain is designed to be as secure as possible. To do so, it relies on cryptography. Cryptography is a method of exchanging information securely and anonymously. To accomplish this, data is encrypted before being sent across the network and decrypted once it has reached its destination. It is important because it prevents anyone from viewing the data as it is transferred. While a message can be intercepted and read, even by using a sniffer, the content of that message cannot be viewed and must instead be decrypted.
Why Do We Need a Blockchain?
While cryptography ensures that the information transferred cannot be viewed, there is still a chance that someone could modify it. It can happen by accident, thanks to errors in the system, or on purpose through some attack.
These types of attacks and modifications can occur because all of the information in a blockchain is stored on every computer connected to the network. As you might imagine, this can lead to situations where an attacker will corrupt the data they attempt to access. To prevent this, cryptography is used to protect the integrity of the information.
As a distributed database, a blockchain is a secure way for individuals to share information. Because of the cryptography and encryption used to protect the integrity of this information as it passes from computer to computer and from user to user, it cannot be modified once it has been encrypted. As such, this provides an excellent way for everyone who uses the system to keep their data safe