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I am trying to learn blockchain technology but I could not find clear answers. I will appreciate your help. ^^

  1. Is blockchain a specific algorithm or software? As I know, blockchain is the transparency of digital transactions, so when you make a transfer of what you own, or store something on the blockchain network, its details will be public for everybody and it will be stored on all nodes permanently in the related network. We all heard about "blockchain is a copybook, when you make anything on it, it will be stored in all nodes". So my question is: If I develop a basic software that stores the same record on all nodes in a network (a kind of common database), would it be as called a "blockchain network", or have I to use some libraries or specific algorithms to call it "blockchain"? Is there any rule or standard to make any software a "blockchain"?
  2. Are Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum blockchain, not the same things? I mean, are they two separate and unique networks/software, or is the "blockchain" a common name for all of those?
  3. When I search my wallet address on blockchain.com or blockchair.com to track my account balance and previous transactions, it never shows me the correct results. So, the amounts of Bitcoin transactions are really trackable?

I am sure everybody wonder about those questions and let us make them more clear as of now.

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3 Answers 3

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If I develop a basic software that stores the same record on all nodes in a network (a kind of common database), would it be as called a "blockchain network"

I would call that a replicated database.

In addition to the public nature and replication, a blockchain must be a sequence of blocks with cryptographic hashes that link each block to a predecessor. It is this last characteristic, and the use of cryptographic signatures, that provides the important immutability of the record of transactions.

Are Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum blockchain, not the same things?

They are different. I don't know anything about ethereum but I expect it is a completely independent implementation of the blockchain idea that has no common code with Bitcoin's implementation.

So, the amounts of Bitcoin transactions are really trackable?

All the essential data is completely public. However it does not explicitly tie addresses to wallets or to people. Careless re-use of addresses can allow some inferences to be made about sets of addresses whose use suggests they may be under the control of a single entity and sometimes that can be used to link addresses to known organisations or individuals. Used with care, Bitcoin has a moderate degree of anonymity. So a business like blockchain.com doesn't know what addresses are in your wallet and can't provide the total for all your addresses that your wallet can.

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  • Oh, I just learned that a wallet can contain multiple addresses. So, which one should we enter on blockchain.com to track our all real transactions: our wallet address or Bitcoin address?
    – daybreak
    Jul 14 at 11:46
  • @daybreak: Any wallet nowadays should be an HD wallet which will automatically generate a new address for every transaction. This improves privacy. I think it is a mistake to think of any address as a "wallet address" nowadays. Jul 14 at 16:05
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  1. I would say that: "blockchain" is a concept. Your example is not a blockchain, at least not yet, you need more than one record (datum) to make it a blockchain. I would define blockchain is data(plural of datum) linked together in such a way that its validity depends on the validity of the datum preceding it. If you have three pieces of data connected together in a blockchain and the block in the middle is invalid then the block after it is also invalid.

  2. Both software employ the blockchain concept with different rules.

  3. I'd need more info here, maybe your transactions were not yet propagated and/or put in the blockchain. It doesn't happen instantly

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  • Awesome comment, thank you for clarifying. Are there any standards or rules to create a blockchain network? Okay I can develop a software which includes bulk of data blocks those connected each other and needs cryptographic verification for previous blocks, then would it finally as called a "blockchain network" ? Or, does it have to comprise some specific rules or standards? If so, may you share those standards with me please? +++ Umm, actually none of my wallet transactions seems on blockchain.com or blockchair.com, it just displays fake results. I made those transactions 1-2 years ago, ie.
    – daybreak
    Jul 14 at 11:20
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Blockchain is a data structure employing an ordered sequence of pieces of data known as blocks. In blockchain, every block contains a reference to the previous block, using a cryptographically strong one way hash function. This, combined with proof of work, is what makes data stored inside nearly-immutable.

Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum blockchain are two specific instances of the blockchain data structure.

blockchain.com or blockchair.com are chain explorers, they only show all the transactions performed by the actual holders of the currency.

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  • Aha! So, normally anyone (or a contract deployer) can update any record on the blockchain, but it needs to be revalidated by 50%+1 of all nodes, so, it is called as "immutable" - but technically it is possible to edit data if we can provide the majority, right?
    – daybreak
    Jul 14 at 11:10
  • You can only go going back and slowly start rewriting history starting at certain point as long as you hold 51% computing power. Jul 14 at 12:46

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