Now that you have a fair idea of how the block looks like and what it contains, can you now guess the powerful features of the technology?
In this section, you will learn some major features of the blockchain and how these features are packed within the technology.
Important Features of the Blockchain
The copy of ledger resides on every node of the blockchain network. So if you are on of the participants of the blockchain network having a node, you will have the latest copy of the ledger with you at any given point of the time.
Every time a new block is added, all the nodes of the blockchain will receive an updated copy of the ledger. This means, that every copy of ledger present across the network will be the same.
Every now and then (as defined in the blockchain protocol), the nodes will have to agree that the copy of ledger present with them is the same.
Given a hypothetical blockchain network that has 1000 nodes, if 10 nodes switch off the network due to some reason (technical or otherwise), the blockchain will not cease to function. The blockchain will continue to function as expected.
This also implies that even if a few nodes behave rogue, it does not affect the blockchain in any way as the majority of the nodes are still running as per the consensus mechanisms coded in the system.
With no central authority to control transactions, the forms of mass collaboration than can be made possible over blockchain are many and are currently being studied and investigated.
The principle behind distributed consensus is that one node will inform it’s current state to other nodes on the network so that all nodes are in the same state.
This is achieved through consensus protocols which you will learn later in the course
Robustness and Durability
No specific party controls the blockchain. Since the ledger is present on every node, there is no single point failure making the ecosystem durable and robust.
Secondly blockchain is transparent.
In a blockchain ecosystem, data is available to the public and embedded in the network. Because the blockchain lives in a state of consensus and it checks in itself after regular intervals, it acts as a self auditing ecosystem of a digital value.
Also a blockchain cannot be corrupted. Altering any unit of information would require massive computing power to override the entire network.
For example, if you are altering any information in the 1000th block, you will also have to alter the block of 999th block, and then 998th block and so on, till the first block or genesis block.
This would require massive electricity and power which renders it to be practically impossible
Blockchain comes with enhanced security. Users currently use username-passwords to protect their identity and assets online.
Blockchain uses the concept of keys – which is basically encryption technology. A Public Key is a user’s address on the blockchain. So anything that has been sent to the user over blockchain resides here.
Users are armed with a Private Key which gives them ownership and hence access to the bitcoins or other assets.