Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are powered by a technology called the blockchain. At its most basic, a blockchain is a list of transactions that anyone can view and verify. The Bitcoin blockchain, for example, contains a record of every time someone sent or received Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that powers them make it possible to transfer value online without the need for a middleman like a bank or credit card company.
Imagine a global, open alternative to every financial service you use today, accessible with little more than a smartphone and internet connection.
Almost all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, are secured via blockchain networks. Which means their accuracy is constantly being verified by a huge amount of computing power.
The list of transactions contained in the blockchain is fundamental for most cryptocurrencies because it enables secure payments to be made between people who don’t know each other without having to go through a third-party verifier like a bank.
Due to the cryptographic nature of these networks, payments via blockchain can be more secure than standard debit/credit card transactions. When making a Bitcoin payment, for instance, you don’t need to provide any sensitive information. That means there is almost zero risk of your financial information being compromised, or your identity being stolen.
Blockchain technology is also exciting because it has many uses beyond cryptocurrency. Blockchains are being used to explore medical research, improve the accuracy of healthcare records, streamline supply chains, and so much more. Due to the cryptographic nature of these networks, payments via blockchain can be more secure than standard debit/credit card transactions.