What’s A Blockchain?

Blockchains are distributed ledgers secured by cryptography. They are essentially public databases which everyone can add to and read. Instead of the data residing on a single centralized server, the data is copied across thousands and thousands of computers worldwide. The consecutive string of every block ever executed makes up a blockchain: a distributed database of chronologically ordered transactions. More on blockchains here.

What’s A Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital store of monetary value with the primary use of which is for buying and selling goods, services, or property. Popular examples include bitcoin, litecoin, and Dash. Cryptocurrencies are cryptographically secured against counterfeit and often are not issued or controlled by any centralized authority. Cryptocurrencies can be referred to as tokens or coins. More on cryptocurrencies here.

What’s The Difference?

Blockchains enable decentralized platforms which sometimes require a cryptocurrency. The blockchain is the technology that serves as the distributed ledger and allows a network to maintain consensus. Distributed consensus enables the network to track transactions, and enables the transfer of value and information.

Cryptocurrencies are the tokens used within these networks to send value and pay for these transactions, or to provide network incentives. Furthermore, you can see them as tool on the blockchain, in some cases serving as a resource or utility, or to digitize the ownership of an asset.

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NEXT: What is Decentralization?

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