Blockchain “is a word that we use more and more often. However, in reality it is often used inappropriately …

From a literal (or technical) point of view, a blockchain is a database of chained block-structured data. Said so it does not seem anything of that … and in fact from the strictly technical point of view it is nothing of that.

But actually “behind” blockchain there is something else. In particular, there is decentralization, which is the true revolutionary scope of this technology. But everything comes from Bitcoin, not from the chain of blocks (which existed even before Bitcoin): the first decentralized blockchain in absolute history is in fact Bitcoin!

And its truly revolutionary nature lies precisely in the fact of allowing to create and publish a decentralized register, ie not managed by anyone in particular. In a word: trustless (that is, it does not require you to trust a certification body to make sure it is correct).

But you must know that not all blockchains are necessarily trustless! So in reality it would be incorrect to use the term “blockchain” to refer to a trustless public database. And in fact there are also non trustless blockchains, whose scope therefore ceases to be truly revolutionary.

Unfortunately there is also a second misunderstanding: often the term “blockchain” is used to refer to the technology of distributed registers, also called DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology). In fact, a register does not have to be created with a blockchain to be distributed, but shares its trustless nature with the decentralized blockchain.

As you may have understood, there is a bit of confusion … but there is also a leitmotiv: trustless nature. We say that now often the word “blockchain” is not used with its specific technical meaning, but with the meaning of “trustless distributed register”, ie a database that is not managed by any particular subject, and which does not require to be trusted of a certifying body to make sure it is correct.

But be careful: when I say “correct” I do not refer to the veracity of the data contained therein, but only to respect the protocol with which it was created and is managed. There is nothing that can guarantee that the data entered and stored in a “blockchain” (or in a trustless distributed register) are true! But you can have the absolute certainty that they respect the protocol with which the same registry was created and is managed by the nodes, without having to trust anyone: just check in person. In short, do not trust: verify!

Therefore from now on when you hear the word blockchainsaprete that, even if used inappropriately, refers to a trustless distributed register, where data are stored with the absolute certainty that they respect the protocol with which the registry was created and managed. While this does not prevent the inclusion in a blockchain bogus data, but the other makes them non-manipulable: once registered will remain unchanged forever.

image found from pixabay

Greetings from Saifer

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  1. Infosion

    Thanks for the clarification and explaining this in detail! Guess I’m also guilty of using it wrong :F
    Decentralization is really something that should somehow be used more often in “frequently used blockchain wordings” everywhere..!

  2. CryptosDecrypted

    Interesting, useful post Saifer. As you note blockchainS are no guarantee of authenticity – garbage in garbage out..but once onchain the info can’t be changed and it has therefore also become much easier to locate points of corruption or misinformation.