Blockchain 101
Below, you will learn about the technology of the blockchain, transactions, and cryptocurrency, as well as receive an introduction to the world of Web3.

WTF is Blockchain?

By now, you must have heard the term “blockchain” at least a time or two.
An important distinction to make is that the blockchain is not a cryptocurrency. The blockchain is the technology that enables transactions to occur within the crypto space. It is an immutable, or unchangeable, digital ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a network; more importantly, it's updated and shared across many computers by people just like you and me!
Let’s break the actual term “blockchain” down into two words - block and chain.
To put it simply, the blockchain is a series of transactions that connect together in the form of blocks… Like a train! These blocks form chains, just as a train connects its cars together. Hence, blockchain. Each block contains the data from the previous block, creating a sequential train of data.
If anyone or anything ever tries to interfere with a transaction, the blockchain will sense the disruption in real-time and immediately cancel the transaction. This is equivalent to if a train had felt one of its cars had broken down. The train would immediately disconnect the car and send it back to its starting point, allowing the rest of the train to proceed to its final destination without any delays or issues.
So, let’s recap: the blockchain consists of a series of blocks, representing transactions, that are all chained together. But how does this work? And how and why are they chained together?

Hashes

Each transaction that occurs on the blockchain is converted into a long list of numbers and letters, which is called a hash. Every input, or transaction, will produce a different output, or hash.
This means that each and every hash is a unique identifier of a specific transaction. You cannot reverse this conversion process, or change it once the hash is produced. Each block contains the hash value of the previous block, and the blocks then become “chained” together. This means that it is not possible to change, modify or delete any block without changing the entire chain.
There is one more piece to this puzzle. How exactly does the technology of the blockchain work? How are all of these transactions vetted as authentic? Well, that leads us into our next topic - nodes.

Nodes

Nodes are where blocks of transactional blockchain data are stored. They are computer servers that maintain the integrity of each transaction on the blockchain. Nodes think of each transaction as an algorithm or equation to solve. In order for a transaction to be approved, it needs to be “solved” by multiple nodes.
Nodes serve a few critical functions: They vote on and validate blocks of transactions. They communicate with other nodes to agree on the state of the blockchain; they store the history (or the state) of the blockchain as a universal source of truth; and, they are the endpoints of the network that enable users to access and interact with applications built on the network.
When a new transaction is up for approval, the nodes must either accept or reject the transaction in order to form a new block on the blockchain. Consensus is required from all participating nodes, and all validated transactions are unalterable. The process of reaching a consensus across multiple nodes for each transaction creates a highly secure, publicly accessible network made for the people, controlled by the people.

Blockchain Transactions

In summary, as you see in this example: A transaction is first requested, then sent to a network of nodes.
The network validates the transaction and is unified with other transactions as a block of data.
The block is then added to the blockchain through a transparent and unalterable process, which completes the transaction.

Blockchain Technology

The benefits of blockchain technology really boil down to trust. The blockchain’s decentralized nature means that information is stored and synchronized across a number of computers, and is tamper resistant, which creates trust in the data. Consensus on data accuracy is required from all participating nodes, and all validated transactions are immutable because they are recorded permanently. No one, not even a system administrator, can delete a transaction.

Decentralization

When we mention the term “decentralized”, this means that transactions that occur on the blockchain do not rely on a third party, such as a bank or the government, to validate the authenticity of the transactions.
Instead, these systems use the technology of the blockchain itself to authenticate transactions and give the power back to the user. You are your own bank now.
A “centralized” system is likely what you experience now: a banking entity that authenticates transactions on your behalf but also has the capability of data censorship and manipulation. Centralized entities have also been known to sell your user data without your consent.
Nodes enable the decentralization of the crypto space. Blockchain data is stored and synchronized across multiple computers, creating trust in the data. The blockchain does not require an external entity to authenticate transactions because of the unalterable nature of its technology, and also because all data is distributed amongst all of its users. Every user has their own copy of the transactions, and data of new transactions is spread amongst the entire network of users.
The data isn’t stored by one entity, but by every entity within the entire blockchain. This is the concept of a distributed network.

WTF is Crypto?

Now that we know that the blockchain is a decentralized network, let's quickly touch on cryptocurrency.
In its simplest form, cryptocurrency can also be known as a token. Tokens are just code living on the blockchain. Unlike other forms of currency, they’re digitally native, programmable, and secured by one’s wallet and private key.
Cryptocurrencies are just one type of token. Fungible tokens are used to store value and exchange services or goods. Non-fungible tokens (otherwise known as NFTs) can represent ownership of items on the blockchain. Think of NFTs as a contract of ownership for many things such as art, real estate, or other valuables. A great example might be the title for your car. It's a record expressing ownership of an asset.

WTF is Web3?

Let’s briefly cover the transition the web has gone through:
Web1 was the genesis of the internet. You had websites, dial-up, and emails. Think back to when you were chatting with your friends on AOL instant messenger - this was essentially the extent of the internet at this point.
Then came along social media and our entryway into Web2, which is our current lives as we know it. Here, you can establish your digital presence. For example, the last time you created an account for a digital service, such as Instagram, you were most likely prompted to sign up using email, Facebook, or Google - but at what cost? Well, the cost of your data and privacy.
Now, with the introduction of Web3, you will be able to decide how you engage with each online service and how much information you share. You will also have the ability to participate in communities, vote on key initiatives, and, based on the amount of skin you have in the game on-chain, you can have a say in the future of where this technology is headed.
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WTF is Blockchain?
Hashes
Nodes
Blockchain Transactions
Blockchain Technology
Decentralization
WTF is Crypto?
WTF is Web3?