I often hear people say that a blockchain is essentially a linked list (i.e. https://www.quora.com/Is-a-blockchain-essentially-a-linked-list)
A block stores the hash of the previous block for validation/consensus. This is similar to how a node in a linked list references the address of the previous node, but it's not quite the same.
In a block, the previous hash is stored by value, not by reference, so you can't really access the previous node by traversing the chain. Whereas in a linked list, you store the address which is a reference to the previous node. You can access any block in constant time where as in a linked list, it's linear time.
On top of this, many implementation that I've seen of a blockchain is an array/slice of blocks. I tried briefly looking at bitcoin's source code (disclaimer: I don't know C++). It looks like the implementation of the chain of blocks in memory uses
std::vector which is basically a dynamic array.
Isn't a blockchain more similar to an array than it is to a linked list?