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RS IoT Blockchain Demonstrators Part 1: Introduction

Andrew Back
Open source (hardware and software!) advocate, Treasurer and Director of the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation, organiser of Wuthering Bytes technology festival and founder of the Open Source Hardware User Group.


December 12, 2018 10:22

Hi Andrew, mind if I ask, what's the difference between blockchain that is mentioned here, and data storage (such as solid state storage, hard disk drive etc)? Or is blockchain another type of data storage?
- Brandon, recent highschool graduate.

0 Votes

December 13, 2018 13:15

@BrandonWJY Although a storage medium of some kind will tend to be used by a blockchain node, it isn't really the point of blockchain: you can run a fully functional chain entirely in RAM. How blockchain differs from standard ways of keeping data is that each entry into the ledger is linked to the previous entry by holding (as one of its fields) the hash value of the previous block. One of the requirements of an effective hash algorithm is the 'avalanche effect' which means that even the smallest change in the original data will result in an entirely different hash result. What that means for our chain is that any attempt to tamper with data in an existing block is easily detectable, because the hash value for the amended block will not match the 'previous hash' field in the next block. As most commercial blockchain is also run on distributed peer to peer (P2P) networks, so there are multiple copies of the chain, the amount of computing power required to amend an entire chain (after the block that was tampered with) on multiple nodes simultaneously is thousands of orders of magnitude outside of what even the best equipped, state-backed, black-hat hacker can muster. Hope that helps.

December 12, 2018 16:25

@BrandonWJY I'm not an expert but I believe that as the Blockchain acts like a ledger copied across many parts of blockchain. If a chain in one is made then it needs to be copied to all other instances that that the ledger is always up to date. If one chain is changed but not by or in the correct way then the change is not recorded across the block chain and is there for not approved. This means that those with access can check at any time to see the current status and get information from the block chain and know that this is the latest version and always tells the truth.

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