I am curious like many people who are interested to learn about Bitcoin/Blockchain related information, but don’t know where to start. I started learning from some point and realize that Bitcoin is implemented on Blockchain technology, which is one of the design from Distributed Ledger. I thought of structure my learnings in a top-down approach (starting from high level topics like Distributed Ledger to get in details to various implementations of Blockchain in detail) and share this information with you as a series. Let’s begin with a brief introduction to distributed ledgers.
A distributed ledger is a type of data structure which resides across multiple computer devices, generally spread across locations or regions.
A distributed ledger is a type of database/ data structure that is shared, replicated, and synchronized among the members of a network. The distributed ledger records the transactions, such as the exchange of assets or data, among the participants in the network.
Participants in the network govern and agree by consensus on the updates to the records in the ledger. No central, third-party mediator, such as a financial institution or clearinghouse, is involved. Every record in the distributed ledger has a timestamp and unique cryptographic signature, thus making the ledger an auditable history of all transactions in the network. One implementation of distributed ledger technology is the open source Hyperledger Fabric blockchain.
For simple understanding, imagine distributed ledger as a log file generated with timestamp and other required details.
Distributed Ledger Technology includes blockchain technologies and smart contracts.
In summary, distributed ledger technology generally consists of three basic components:
A data model that captures the current state of the ledgerA language of transactions that changes the ledger stateA protocol used to build consensus among participants around which transactions will be accepted, and in what order, by the ledger.
As I mentioned above, let’s talk more about Blockchain and Hyperledger in coming posts.
Source: Blockchain basics: Introduction to distributed ledgers (IBM Site), Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies (edx course)