Blockchain has a reputation for being a secure technology. Yet many people don’t understand what, exactly, it is that makes blockchain technology so secure.

In this week’s ‘Blockchain, Explained’, we look at what components of blockchain make it secure and how this security differs from traditional platforms.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is fundamentally a decentralised database that stores data in ‘blocks’ and is largely resistant to tampering.

Because of this, it is an attractive data storage option, and also has potential for use in a variety of areas that demand security such as healthcare, voting and company documentation.

How is more secure than a traditional database?

Blockchain is not centralised, therefore has no single point of failure. Rather, it’s distributed. The actual algorithm that protects blockchain uses sophisticated math and software rules to make it very hard for people to attack. While this does not make it impossible to attack, it means it’s a lot more secure than any database we use right now.

Each ‘block’ has a cryptographic fingerprint that is unique to that block and, in the case of public blockchains like Bitcoin, a consensus protocol.

The fingerprint requires a great deal of computing time and energy to generate, meaning that the miner who added the block did the computation work. Then, to alter the blockchain, you would have to generate a new hash. This means that any attempt to tamper will be identified.

Why do we need blockchain?

Blockchain’s immutability and security is particularly useful in sectors where information needs to be verified and there may be a lack of trust. Often, in company exchanges, companies pay intermediaries to mediate business contracts. Blockchain could largely replace these intermediaries.

In the case of sensitive information such as health records and political votes ,blockchain can provide a secure way of centralising information while ensuring that individual data is secure and legitimate.

Securing our data is not wholly reliant on blockchain technology, however. Incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence, in combination with blockchain and other tech, will ensure that globally our data is secure, accessible and traceable.

Blockhead Technology is integrating blockchain technology, among other innovations, into data tracking. You can find out more about our blockchain-enabled platform STAMP here or contact us here for more information or a demo.