How Blockchain Works

Blockchain is a complex concept, consisting of a blend of different technologies, each one a foundational pillar in making blockchain the revolutionary offering that it is. In this section we will explore these technical aspects individually and detail why they are so important.

We will examine how blockchain works and explain in simple terms what each aspect of the technology contributes to the larger picture. The technical aspects we dissect will be:

  • Peer to peer network

  • Cryptography

  • Digital signatures

  • Nodes

  • Hashing

  • Consensus protocols

  • Byzantine Fault Tolerance

  • Proof of Stake

  • Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS)

  • Proof of Work & Mining

 

Some of these technologies are already ingrained in our day to day life, if you use Whatsapp for example you are sending messages encrypted through cryptography on a daily basis. Some are less commonly used like P2P networks, whereas consensus protocol are specialised to blockchain.

Each aspect of the technology plays a pivotal role in not only allowing blockchain to carry out its functions, in a secure and dependable way, but also in supporting and sustaining the network.

A Peer to Peer (abbreviated to P2P) network is a very important part of how blockchain technology works, and why it is so solid and secure. Here we will explore what is P2P and why it is such a vast improvement on the centralized systems we are familiar with today.

Lesson 6

Peer-to-Peer Networks

A lot of people use cryptography on a daily basis without giving it a second thought as many popular messaging apps use encryption. It is also one of the core aspects of blockchain technology. In this lesson we will provide a simple yet detailed explanation of cryptography, both symmetric and asymmetric key cryptography.

Lesson 7

Cryptography

In some ways, digital signatures do what their names suggest: they provide validation and authentication in the same way signatures do, in digital form. In this segment we will discuss how they work as well as how multisignatures (multisigs) can be used to add an extra layer of security.

Lesson 8

Digital Signatures

A node is a device on a blockchain network, they are in essence the foundation of the technology, allowing it to function and survive. These nodes are distributed across a widespread network and carry out a variety of tasks. In this segment of the Academy we will briefly examine the qualities of a node on a blockchain network.

Lesson 9

Nodes

The reliability and integrity of blockchain is rooted in there being no chance of any fraudulent data or transactions, such as a double spend, being accepted or recorded. A cornerstone of the technology as a whole and the key components in maintaining this reliability is hashing.

Lesson 10

Hashing

A blockchain is a public ledger of information collected through a network that sits on top of the internet. It is how this information is recorded that gives blockchain its groundbreaking potential.

Lesson 11

Consensus Protocols