Originally the term blockchain was used for structuring and sharing data.

Blockchain is an advanced approach to distribution of data storage and sharing. This innovation comes from incorporating older technology in new ways.

The best way to understand blockchain is to look at it as distributed databases that a group of individuals control in which data can be stored and shared.These are also called ledgers.

The structure of the blockchain composes of 2 parts
Block: A list of transactional data which is recorded and converted into ledgers over a period of time. a transaction in a blockchain is simply recording the data.

Chain: The hash is created as a consecutive fingerprint from the data that was in the previous block. This is stored in order and time together forming a blockchain. Referring to a hash that links one block to another, these are mathematical chains which allows blockchains to be glued together.

Therefore, it is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of data and share it among a network of independent parties.

Public Blockchains

These have open source core codes and are large distributed networks that run through tokens. These are open for anyone to participate at any level and have open source codes. A familiar example would be Bitcoins.

Permissioned Blockchains

These are blockchains that have control roles that one can play within the network of the chain. They are similar to a public blockchain as they use tokens but their core may/may not be open source.

Example: Ripple

Private Blockchain

These types of blockchains are mainly used by a network of organisation that share data. The access to the blockchain is to members who can have trade confidential information. Private blockchains are smaller and do not use tokens. These blockchain are closely controlled except the members having access to the private blockchain key.

The novelty of a Blockchain is that all the above mentioned use cryptography to allow an individual on a network to manage the ledger in a way that is not only secure but also does not require any central authority.

Blockchains remove central authority from database structures which minimises the roles of human interaction and corruption.

How Blockchain Works?

Blockchains are assets that help create systems without the need of a central authority or a third party influence. they can accomplish this by running their consensus algorithm.

When a user requests a transaction, the request is transmitted to the network, now this network validates the transaction or rejects it.

When a request is accepted this transaction is added into the ongoing "block" of transactions. Hereon, the block of transactions is chained together with the previous blocks hence not only confirming the transaction but also adding another block to the chain.


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Applications Of Blockchain
Apart from Blockchain eliminating the middlemen, and ensuring security, there are various applications in different sectors where Blockchain is used and has the potential for excellent breakthroughs.

Blockchain technology has the potential to address the interoperability challenges currently present in health IT systems and to be the technical standard that enables individuals, health care providers, health care entities and medical researchers to securely share electronic health data.
Blockchain offers greater degree of Security, Trust, Transparency, Privacy, & Cost optimisation in Capital Markets, Lending, Banking operations, Payments & Remittances, Insurance & Trade Finance.
Farmers and buyers of their produce are forced to interact with domestic and foreign trading houses, banks, freight carriers, insurers, foreign exchange specialists and port authorities in different countries. And then it enters the retail supply chain of Whole sale distributors and Retail supermarkets before it reaches the consumer

Blockchain will introduce greater degrees of transparency, visibility, provenance tracking and authentication which helps improve efficiency and food safety.

Blockchain is used in various other industries with more and more companies investing in it to improve several areas of their business and countries adopting the technology to improve governing processes, and identification for their citizens. Blockchain is even used to achieve sustainable development