Blockchain has been erupting out as the technology of the future. The main use-case of this technology is seen in the form of bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency right now. With the large-scale breakout of bitcoin, many people are now trying to understand the technology underneath, blockchain. As the name indicates itself, there is a certain role to play here by blocks. So what are these blocks? Here’s your compact and simple explanation for a block which I have been able to understand based on my exposure to this world.
The information of a blockchain network is contained within blocks. The transactions that are happening on a blockchain-based network are placed within the blocks. In the current bitcoin network, a block is formed in the main chain of the network after an average of 10 minutes. So it is a chain of blocks that is growing continuously, hence the name blockchain.
When a transaction is thrown on the network, it floats around in the unmined pool first. When a miner in the network becomes the leader after solving a cryptographic puzzle, it gets to add the new block in the chain. So the transactions are taken from the unmined pool and are added to the main chain after being placed in a new block.
Now, what do blocks contain beside the transaction information? A block usually maintains a hash number that is dedicated to it. It also contains the hash of the previous block so that a link can be made with the previous block. A block also contains a nonce number and a timestamp. Nonce number the number which is found by miners in order to solve the cryptographic puzzle associated with the block addition. A block essentially maintains a part of the record of the entire network.
So, here what you need to keep in mind. Information of the blockchain network is kept in segments. or blocks. These blocks are formed after some specified time and a chain of blocks is formed in the end which keeps on growing. Next time if someone asks you to explain blockchain, remember the two words, block, and chain. The name in itself is self-explanatory.