Where is the Blockchain?
Many people have asked about the exact location of the “blockchains”. Several things need to be understood about blockchains. Firstly, blockchains are records of data. This is where the blockchain is located. Innovations in the future may change this but for now, this is how it is.
They have entries just like databases. Asking for their location is just like asking for the location of a database with one key difference. It is that one is centralized while the other is decentralized.
For the decentralized one, the use of nodes that confirm the records in the chain of information (or what we call the blockchain) is the store the records.
To fully grasp this concept, we need to understand how blockchains essentially work. Each blockchain node shares information with the next one.
And depending on the confirmation process, they now validate the information presented to be entered into the blockchains ledger. They each all have a copy of the ledger so that they can “compare notes” to see that every record is correct. Once this process is complete then the data is confirmed and the final copy is formed.
This is also fully understood using what is called the “Byzantine Generals Problem”. In essence, in a war, all the generals on one side have to agree together on just about everything for them to be successful.
They have to share every piece of information among themselves and also move in the same direction for their side to succeed against their common enemy. This is a concept that blockchain technology has solved in a very practical way.
Information is shared across the nodes of a blockchain and each verifies if the other has an accurate copy of the blockchain’s ledger. Once that occurs, then the records are finalized using cryptographic signatures.
In the future, we will see other ways blockchains can be stored. This will change as new ideas and concepts pervade the blockchain space.