An idiot’s guide to blockchain

2 minute read

Confused about blockchain? So are we. Here's an explainer so you can bluff your way through the next dinner party


There’s a lot of things at TMR that we don’t quite understand. The database system called Blockchain is one of them. So we’ve tried to put together a quick explainer that you can use to bluff your way through the next dinner party.

• Blockchain was first used for security by the digital currency Bitcoin, beloved by drug dealers and bankers alike.

• Data is stored in little chunks, called blocks, across a network of computers, rather than a single hard drive. Each block of data has a tag that links it to the previous block.  The tags are encoded in such a way that adding to, or changing, the blockchain requires the network’s whole computing power.

• As a huge number of computers is required to cheat this system, Blockchain is purported to be close to 100% secure. In this way, Bitcoin uses Blockchain to build an ever-growing public ledger of digital money transactions.

• Thousands of so-called Bitcoin miners do the computing work required to add transactions to the Blockchain. While each of these miners has an entire copy of the digital ledger, they cannot change it without the ratification of the entire Blockchain community.

• It can be argued that storing healthcare data using Blockchain would be much more secure than using centralised hard drives. But, while the Blockchain data is very difficult to rewrite, it must be stored in many places, which potentially could undermine confidentiality.

But if you really want to understand blockchain, you really need to watch this video.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×