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Blockchain is one of the most innovative tech developments to arrive on the scene since the turn of the millennium. This technology underpins most cryptocurrencies, securing transactions through a decentralised ledger system. You can learn more about the history of Bitcoin and the first use of blockchain in the PDF attachment to this post.  

The name ‘blockchain’ is relatively self-explanatory – data is stored in blocks that are linked together to form a chain. New blocks are created as more data is added to the chain, which gets longer over time.  

Volker Hartzsch is the co-founder and director of Block Prime, a company that builds technology based on blockchain and Web3 tech that can be used by people who do not have a tech background. 

Why Is Blockchain Important? 

Blockchain is important to modern business, which increasingly runs on the exchange of information online. While its roots are in cryptocurrencies, blockchain can be used to secure all sorts of online transactions and exchanges of information. Some of the most popular applications of blockchain can be seen in the embedded infographic. 

With blockchain, transactions can be made instantly, securely and transparently, with information stored on a ledger that cannot be altered and can only be accessed by authorised parties. Businesses can use blockchain networks to accept or make payments, track orders, manage production and much more.  

How Blockchain Transactions Work 

Each transaction made on a blockchain is stored in a block. This can show the movement of an asset, which can be tangible or intangible. Data can be stored on almost any aspect of an asset, including things like delivery time, temperature and condition, as well as price and location.  

Once a transaction is complete, the block is added to the chain and linked to the previous blocks. This prevents anyone inserting or removing blocks into or from the middle of the chain. As each new block is added, the verification of all previous blocks becomes more secure.  

This results in an immutable chain where any attempts at tampering are immediately evident and can be prevented. Blocks can only be added to the chain once they have been verified by multiple users, rather than a single central authority.  

The short video attachment looks at what, aside from blockchain, defines a cryptocurrency.