What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a digital distributed ledger that is used as a system for validating and recording transaction information. This digital ledger of transactions is duplicated and distributed throughout an entire network of computers connected to the blockchain.
The Dogecoin blockchain consists of thousands of computers – called nodes – meaning that transaction information is not stored in one centralised place. Instead, Dogecoin blockchain information is stored across thousands of nodes. This is why cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin are often referred to as being decentralised.
When a Dogecoin transaction is made, full nodes in the network, by referencing the blockchain, ensure that the sender of the transaction did not create Dogecoin out of thin air and that he is not spending the same Dogecoin twice (double-spending).
In the next step, specialized nodes called miners will include the information regarding the transaction in a block, a data structure where some or all the most recent transactions not yet confirmed by the network are batched together. Finally, the new block is distributed to the other nodes throughout the network, that will confirm that the block is valid. Every block that is created contains the hash of the preceding block, which in turn contains the hash of its preceding block, so on and so forth creating a chain all the way back to Dogecoin’s genesis block.
This way of structuring data, together with the decentralized nature of the network, creates an irreversible timeline where blocks become immutable links in a chain.
In addition to being peer-to-peer and decentralised, another benefit of blockchain technology is that is extremely difficult — and often impossible — to hack, alter, or deceive the system.