I have a basic question about blockchain and Bitcoin. After a transaction is confirmed and included in a block, it is said to have a depth (confirmation) of one. However I've read that many companies require "multiple" confirmations (up to 6) before they consider a transaction truly confirmed. Does that mean that a block taht is confirmed can be revoked, thus nullifying the previously confirmed transaction? What purpose would such a behavior serve -- in other words, once a transaction is confirmed and a block is formed, what advantage is there to later "unconfirmed" taht block?
Every Bitcoin node creates it's own blockchain. When a new block is found, it is broadcasted to the network. Other nodes will only consider the highest blockchain as being the "real" blockchain.
Sometimes, two separate nodes build a block containing different transactions. Two competing blockchains now exist, it is now a race for the next block. Once the next block is found, we can reject the other inferior chain. But if that inferior blockchain manages to get two new blocks, it will be broadcasted again as the main one.
To avoid having a transaction that was once in a block, but it got replaced, we simply state how many blocks happened since the transaction as confirmations. After 6 confirmation it's considered almost impossible to alter, so we just say it's confirmed.