blockchain architecture

The distributed (blockchain) system:


The individual block architecture:



  • block reference number
  • hash of previous block: address/link/path to previous block, the (intangible) connective tissue between the blocks
  • time stamp: how we know its place in history
  • block nonce: in cryptography, this is an arbitrary number that may only be used once, it exists to prove that this block is an original block and to allow more blocks to be produced
  • transactions (txn):  a public log of past transactions (or any type of information: identity, certificates, titles) that is replicated across the system

example using Bitcoin, from Bitcoin Mining Explained Like You’re Five:
“When you first open your Bitcoin wallet, your computer automatically connects to a handful of other users (called peers) who are also operating the wallet software. Whenever you make a transaction, your computer broadcasts it to the peers you’ve connected to. Upon receiving the transaction, each peer will perform a series of about 20 checks to make sure the transaction is valid (including checking the digital signature to verify that you are in fact the owner), then relay it to its peers. Through this process the transaction will propagate throughout the network eventually reaching all users.”


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