Blockchain is a set of digital records (called blocks) that are cryptographically chained and sealed. At the most fundamental level, blockchain technology solves the problem of recording transactions between two parties (usually distrustful to each other). These transactions can be recorded using a distributed ledger consisting of many computers. Blockchain makes the recorded transactions tamper-resistant even from administrative users on these machines.
Blockchain shot to its early hype days because the cryptocurrency Bitcoin used blockchain technology to persist transactions around the world. However, the key value of blockchain is in the fact that it is fundamentally enables a new kind of database, called the hyperledger, that has the following properties
- Blockchain hyperledger is a distributed database – it can be deployed in a way that the database scales out horizontally without scale limits
- Blockchain hyperledger does not have single controlling entity – it can be deployed in a way that no single individual, business or organization controls what’s stored in it
- Blockchain hyperledger does not have a single point of failure – it can be deployed in a way that there are no single points of failure (it can be made to tolerate a lot of server failures)
Note that in all the above statements we use “it can be deployed in a way”. And this is the part that most people with only a high-level understanding of blockchain fail to understand. It all depends on how well the blockchain solution is architected and deployed. You can deploy it in a way that none of the three valuable bullet points survive. That’s why you need experts like us.