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What is a blockchain?

Let’s start with a simple definition: a blockchain is a digital log of activity.

What is a digital log of activity good for? Well, individuals can use blockchains to accomplish different aim and objectives.

Take the Bitcoin blockchain. It does nothing more than log all movement of bitcoin (BTC) from one address to another address on the chain. It serves a function similar to email. It is a tool for individuals who want to interact with a recipient address without working through an intermediary.

Blockchains can log information other than money movement. On Ethereum’s blockchain, mini-software programs known as smart contracts are logged. Individuals who want to launch an application that is globally accessible would develop and host a smart contract on Ethereum’s blockchain.

In general, blockchains are being used in much the same way that developers use computers. This means that is possible that everyday users may not yet find blockchains useful enough to engage with daily. But the properties of a blockchain allow for the creation of new digital products and services that you may one day find valuable.