Blockchain Basics: The Ledger

Photo by  Sear Greyson  on  Unsplash

For all the magical properties that are associated with blockchain, the most boring one is without a doubt that it acts as a ledger.

Ledgers are as old as when the first humans started to have an administration of what went into storage. A ledger of what is stored in the warehouse, a ledger of who owes how much, or simply a ledger of the transactions going in/out for a shop. All can be defined as a ledger, all of this CAN be done in a blockchain.

The main differentiator on the ledger aspect that makes it stand out from the old school ledgers, is that those are usually on their own, whereas a blockchain ledger has an exact copy at each participant in the network.

Imagine the bank where we go to, to check our balance. The main source here is the ledger that is kept by the bank. We can access that single ledger at the bank, or via an app, but it is the ledger controlled by the bank nonetheless.

With a blockchain ledger, the entire administration is stored as exact copies, at every participant in the network. This allows anyone to confirm what happened and what the latest balances are, without having to check with a central party.


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