Blockchain explained – technology behind it for a common man

Blockchain explained - technology behind it for a common man

So you must have heard everybody asking the same question and probably by now would be too interested in getting down to business to find answers. But you would still not mind a 1-minute non-scientific explanation of what in the world is blockchain that explains you the underlying tech with an analogy that does not sound like AI. So here goes…

Blockchain explained in a simple illustration below

Imagine a family of four, with a father and a mother and two kids – Jack and Jill. The mother makes a beautiful red cardigan that everyone swoons at – the father declares, whoever of the two kids would finish their vegan dinner faster would get the red cardigan. Jack gets the red cardigan the next day. The father hands over the cardigan and records on a piece of paper about who received the cardigan from whom and when and puts that piece of paper in a folder. Next day Jill gives Jack her apple and get the cardigan from him in exchange. The father records the event on another piece of paper and puts it too in the folder. The next day Jack gets the cardigan back in return of something else. But the entries in the folder do not cease. One day the mother comes back from a business trip abroad and sees the cardigan with Jack and wants to know why he has the cardigan when it was supposed to be with Jill (or Jack, as by now both of them have owned the cardigan a few dozen times each). She simply picks up the folder and searches through the sequence of events to find that out.

Now imagine, the mother sees that same cardigan, made by her in her home in San Francisco, on some kid in Paris – while on another business trip to France. She would know how the cardigan landed with that kid in Paris if she can see that folder.

The folder is the blockchain – a searchable collection of information about every trasaction of any item anywhere ever.

I hope the above illustration is helpful. If you are still wondering, why would a collection of some (or a lot) pages in a folder be referred to as blockchain and why not something simply as a recordbook, it is because of two reasons unique to the blockchain technology:-

  1. Each new page that is inserted in the folder has a unique reference that identifies which was the exact last page before it.
  2. The page is referred to as a block – of information (about that cardigan).

Next, read part two of our Blockchain’s Red Cardigan story. The article explains what all information is in there in each page of Jack and Jill’s folder. The reader would be able to understand the structure of a Block after reading the article.