What does Blockchain mean?
A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.
“One way to think about the blockchain is like layers in a geological formation or glacier core sample. The surface layers might change with the seasons, or even be blown away before they have time to settle. But once you go a few inches deep, geological layers become more and more stable.
By the time you look a few hundred feet down, you are looking at a snapshot of the past that has remained undisturbed for millions of years. In the blockchain, the most recent few blocks might be revised if there is a chain recalculation due to a fork. The top six blocks are like a few inches of topsoil. But once you go more deeply into the blockchain, beyond six blocks, blocks are less and less likely to change.
After 100 blocks back there is so much stability that the coinbase transaction—the transaction containing newly mined bitcoins—can be spent. A few thousand blocks back (a month) and the blockchain is settled history. It will never change.” – Andreas Antonopulos – Mastering Bitcoin