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How Blockchain Works

Blockchain is a complex concept, consisting of a blend of different technologies, each one a foundational pillar in making blockchain the revolutionary offering that it is. In this chapter of the Lisk Academy we will explore these technical aspects individually and detail why they are so important.

We will examine how blockchain works and explain in simple terms what each aspect of the technology contributes to the larger picture. The technical aspects we dissect will be:

Some of these technologies are already ingrained in our day to day life, if you use Whatsapp for example you are sending messages encrypted through cryptography on a daily basis. Some are less commonly used like P2P networks, whereas consensus protocol are specialised to blockchain.

Each aspect of the technology plays a pivotal role in not only allowing blockchain to carry out its functions, in a secure and dependable way, but also in supporting and sustaining the network.

This chapter of the Lisk Academy is designed to help develop a more technical understanding of the technologies that make up blockchain. 


Peer to Peer Network

A Peer to Peer (abbreviated to P2P) network is a very important part of how blockchain technology works, and why it is so solid and secure. Here we will explore what is P2P and why it is such a vast improvement on the centralized systems we are familiar with today.

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Cryptography

A lot of people use cryptography on a daily basis without giving it a second thought as many popular messaging apps use encryption. It is also one of the core aspects of blockchain technology. In this segment of the Lisk Academy we will provide a simple yet detailed explanation of cryptography, both symmetric and asymmetric key cryptography.

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Digital Signatures

In some ways, digital signatures do what their names suggest: they provide validation and authentication in the same way signatures do, in digital form. In this segment we will discuss how they work as well as how multisignatures (multisigs) can be used to add an extra layer of security.

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Nodes

A node is a device on a blockchain network, they are in essence the foundation of the technology, allowing it to function and survive. These nodes are distributed across a widespread network and carry out a variety of tasks. In this segment of the Academy we will briefly examine the qualities of a node on a blockchain network.

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Hashing

The reliability and integrity of blockchain is rooted in there being no chance of any fraudulent data or transactions, such as a double spend, being accepted or recorded. A cornerstone of the technology as a whole and the key components in maintaining this reliability is hashing.

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Consensus Protocols

Consensus protocols are one of the most important and revolutionary aspects of blockchain technology. They create an irrefutable system of agreement between various devices across a distributed network, whilst preventing exploitation of the system. Here we will explore how these systems work and how various protocols differ from one another.

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Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Achieving Byzantine Fault Tolerance is one of the most difficult challenges addressed by blockchain technology. Byzantine Fault Tolerance means that two nodes can communicate safely across a network, knowing that they are displaying the same data. In this part of the Lisk Academy we will examine why this is so challenging, yet important, and how it is achieved.

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Proof of Stake

Proof of Stake is one of the commonly used consensus protocols within blockchain technology. Here we will examine exactly what a stake is and how the algorithm successfully achieves consensus between nodes.

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Delegated Proof of Stake

Delegated Proof of Stake (otherwise known as DPoS) is a consensus algorithm maintaining irrefutable agreement on the truth across the network, validating transactions and acting as a form of digital democracy. It is the protocol of choice at Lisk and with very good reason.

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Proof of Work

Creating the proof of work protocol for achieving consensus between devices on a distributed network is arguably the crowning achievement of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. In doing so, he laid the groundwork for the revolutionary technology that is blockchain.

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What's next?

Peer to Peer Network

A Peer to Peer (abbreviated to P2P) network is a very important part of how blockchain technology works, and why it is so solid and secure. Here we will explore what is P2P and why it is such a vast improvement on the centralized systems we are familiar with today.

Read more