Skip to Main Content

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Blockchain


What Is Blockchain?

"Blockchain is the innovative database technology that’s at the heart of nearly all cryptocurrencies. By distributing identical copies of a database across an entire network, blockchain makes it very difficult to hack or cheat the system. While cryptocurrency is the most popular use for blockchain presently, the technology offers the potential to serve a very wide range of applications."

"At its core, blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that stores data of any kind. A blockchain can record information about cryptocurrency transactions, NFT ownership or DeFi smart contracts."


Rodeck, D. & Schmidt, J. (2021). What Is Blockchain? Forbes.


  • Blockchain is a specific type of database.

  • It differs from a typical database in the way it stores information; blockchains store data in blocks that are then chained together. 

  • As new data comes in it is entered into a fresh block. Once the block is filled with data it is chained onto the previous block, which makes the data chained together in chronological order.

  • Different types of information can be stored on a blockchain but the most common use so far has been as a ledger for transactions. 

  • In Bitcoin’s case, blockchain is used in a decentralized way so that no single person or group has control—rather, all users collectively retain control.

  • Decentralized blockchains are immutable, which means that the data entered is irreversible. For Bitcoin, this means that transactions are permanently recorded and viewable to anyone.


Conway, L. (2021, June 1). Blockchain explained. Investopedia

Blockchain RSS Feed

Loading ...

Ask A Librarian


To reach the Library by phone during normal business hours call (650) 738-4311.


Click here to send an email to the librarians.

Library Staff make every effort to respond promptly; however, replies may take up to 24 hours.


Available during normal business hours (650) 399-7712.


Available during normal business hours.

O'Reilly (Safari) eBooks & Videos


Blockchain (aka Distributed Ledger) technology is a system of transaction closing and recordkeeping that removes the need for intermediaries and makes fraud incredibly difficult. Blockchain was made popular though cryptocurrency, which is a way of exchanging money or value via a token.

CNBC Explains