A Blockchain is a database (aka distributed ledger) of transactions (ie. data) that is stored and protected by cryptography. Data stored on a blockchain is immutable, irreversible and auditable. In Bitcoin (and many other blockchains), miners verify transactions and maintain the ledger via a consensus algorithm (aka proof of work).
For example, imagine a document that is shared thousands of times a day on a supporting network designed to regularly update the document with any changes instantaneously.
Originally built for Bitcoin, the wider technology community is finding other uses for it “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Don & Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)
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