Blockchain: an overview
A lot of people talk about blockchain these days, so let’s see what this innovative technology is all about: The simplest way to describe a blockchain is that it is a method to store data in blocks that are linked together in a chain.
Different types of blockchain
There are different blockchain types, but we are going to look at the best-known blockchain first: the public blockchain. Bitcoin, one of the first blockchain-based applications, uses a public blockchain. This structure is decentralised and open to anyone who wants to participate.
How does a blockchain work?
Blockchain technology is based on a decentralised system that can be compared to a digital ledger that manages data. All members of the blockchain network own a continuously updated and synchronised copy of this database. Each block stores data and is inseparably linked to the previous block. This creates a chain, a blockchain, where it is nearly impossible to change records. This security structure makes the technology attractive for many applications, including financial services, supply chains and the Internet of Things.
To ensure the information on the blockchain is correct, the technology relies on a consensus algorithm. In the case of Bitcoin, this means that (decentralised) computing power from all around the world validates the data of each new block.
The eCredits blockchain
eCredits uses another blockchain type that distinguishes itself in terms of access, validation and transparency: the private blockchain. Here, we still have the blocks that form the chain, but a network operator manages the access, approves the transactions and is the only one who can see the information about these transactions. This means that private blockchains are generally faster, more regulated and more compliant.
eCredits’s private blockchain is managed by the eCredits operating company. The eCredits blockchain is centralised and open only to people who have gone through an identification process, which means that we can provide users with a regulated, secure and reliable environment for digital payments.