Block chain is a shared, distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible — a house, a car, cash, land — or intangible like intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, or branding. Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved. It addresses the need for an efficient, cost-effective, reliable, and secure system for conducting and recording transactions.
In particular, the blockchain architecture gives participants the ability to share a ledger that is updated, through peer-to-peer replication, every time a transaction occurs. (It is pertinent to note that all parties have a replica of the ledger) Peer- to-peer replication means that each participant (called a node) in the network acts as both a publisher and a subscriber. Each node can receive or send transactions to other nodes, and the data is synchronized across the network as it is transferred. It eliminates duplication of effort and reduces the need for intermediaries. It’s also less vulnerable because it uses consensus models to validate information. Transactions are secure, authenticated, and verifiable. Therefore, by using a shared ledger on a blockchain network, every participant can access, monitor, and analyse the state of the asset irrespective of where it is within its life cycle. Consensus is established using the blockchain (which keeps records of previous transactions).