Blockchain technology was invented in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto – the pseudonym used by the mysterious person (or group) who invented bitcoin. It underpins cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether and litecoin, and has the potential to revolutionise many established industries and practices.
A blockchain is a data record that is distributed across a network of computers, meaning there is no single point of failure.
What makes it unique is that there is no central authority in charge of the blockchain file or the data it contains. Instead, each computer keeps its own copy of the file, and any update requires the approval of a majority of machines in the network.
The blockchain is made up of ‘blocks’, which each contain a section of data. The most recent data is always added at the top of the chain, while the oldest lives at the bottom in what is known as the ‘genesis block’.