What is a Blockchain? The Web3 Technology - Spaziocrypto
By Ziken Labs profile image Ziken Labs
6 min read

What is a Blockchain? The Web3 Technology

Technologies often have the power to transform the way we interact with the world. One innovation that has captured attention in recent years is blockchain. This term has become increasingly familiar, but what is a blockchain actually? We will explore the basic concepts of a blockchain and the key role

Technologies often have the power to transform the way we interact with the world. One innovation that has captured attention in recent years is blockchain. This term has become increasingly familiar, but what is a blockchain actually? We will explore the basic concepts of a blockchain and the key role it plays in the context of Web3.

Blockchain Definition and Key Concept

What is a blockchain? Let's start with a basic definition: a blockchain is a digital data structure that permanently records a series of transactions or events in linked blocks. The main feature that distinguishes a blockchain from traditional centralised databases is its decentralised and immutable nature. Instead of relying on a central entity to maintain and verify information, a blockchain harnesses the power of a network of computers, known as nodes, that work together to reach a consensus on the validity of transactions.

A key concept within blockchains is that of consensus protocol. Since there is no central authority that can confirm the validity of transactions, the network must find a way to reach agreement on which transactions are legitimate. This is often achieved through consensus algorithms, which require nodes to solve complex cryptographic problems to prove that they have actively contributed to the network. Once a consensus is reached on a transaction, it is added as a blockchain to the existing chain, creating an immutable and transparent ledger.

Blockchains were originally developed to support cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but their potential has extended far beyond that. The blockchain concept has spawned an entire technological revolution known as Web3, which promises to redefine the way we interact with the Internet and digital services. Now that we have a basic understanding of what a blockchain is, it's time to take a closer look at how this revolutionary technology actually works.

Shared-Record Concept

In a nutshell, what is a blockchain and how is it structured? A blockchain can be thought of as a 'shared ledger' in which all transactions are recorded and stored permanently. This ledger is accessible to all participants in the network, but no single individual or entity has exclusive control over it. Each transaction is represented as a block, containing cryptographically secure data and a reference to the previous block.

Linked-Block Structure

The key feature of a blockchain is its 'linked-block' structure. Each new block containing recent transactions is linked to the previous block through a cryptographic function known as a hash. This creates an unbroken chain of blocks, each referring to the block before it, thus creating an immutable transaction history.

This structure is fundamental to the security of the blockchain. Since each block refers to the previous block via its hash, any attempt to modify the data in a previous block would require all subsequent blocks to be modified, which would be practically impossible due to the computational power required.

Consensus Mechanism

Because a blockchain operates in a decentralised environment, it is essential to have a consensus mechanism to determine which transactions are valid and which are not. This prevents a single participant or group of participants from altering the information within the blockchain. Consensus mechanisms include the Proof of Work used by Bitcoin and the Proof of Stake used by many other blockchains. These mechanisms ensure that only those who provide a significant amount of resources, such as computational power or cryptocurrency tokens, have the ability to propose and validate new blocks.

Now that we understand how a blockchain works and how blocks are connected, we will explore how blockchain technology has evolved to give birth to the Web3 concept, opening up new possibilities for the future of the Internet and digital services.

Evolution to Web3 and Blockchain

The advent of blockchain has started a new chapter in the evolution of the Internet, leading to the birth of the Web3 concept and, at SpazioCrypto, we aim to offer objective and transparent content, becoming the point of reference for information and learning for the Web3 community in Italy. We want to create a place where access to high quality content enables informed decisions and stimulates innovation, and we are convinced that Web3 is redefining our online experience. Blockchain is becoming the foundation of this revolution.

The Emergence of Web3: A New Era of the Internet

The Web3 represents a radically different perspective than its predecessor, Web2. Whereas Web2 was characterised by the centralisation of platforms and data by a few dominant companies, Web3 aims to decentralise control, allowing users to have full control of their information and interactions online. In a Web3 environment, blockchains play a key role in providing security, traceability, and transparency.

Web3 vs. Web2: Differences and Distinctive Features

The differences between Web2 and Web3 are obvious. In Web2, information is hosted on centralised servers and controlled by a few entities, whereas in Web3, information is distributed over a decentralised network of nodes, making censorship and data alteration difficult. In Web2, services often monetise users' data, whereas in Web3, users can have control over their data and decide whether and how to share it.

Global-Interconnection-Based-on-Decentralised-Protocols

A key aspect of Web3 is the use of decentralised protocols to enable interaction between users and applications. These protocols define rules and standards that facilitate the operation of applications without the need for centralised intermediaries. Examples include IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) for decentralised data storage and Ethereum for the execution of smart contracts.

The convergence of blockchain and Web3 is paving the way for a wide range of innovative applications. We will explore some of these applications, as well as the socio-economic impacts this revolution could have on our society. Next, we will examine how the Web3 is leading to a new form of automation through smart contracts and how security and user control are becoming central elements in the decentralised world of blockchain.

Web3 and Blockchain: A Decentralised Future

As we understand what a blockchain is, we can say that it is paving the way for a fully decentralised future, in which trust and security are ensured by technology instead of centralised intermediaries. We will explore crucial aspects of this transformation: smart contracts and enhanced security and user control.

Smart Contracts and Trustworthy Automation

Smart contracts are self-executing computer programmes that are activated when certain conditions are met. These contracts are immutable and verifiable via the blockchain, making them reliable tools for executing transactions and agreements without the need for intermediaries. For example, a property sale contract could be executed automatically when the buyer sends payment, eliminating the need for a notary or intermediary.

Enhanced Security and User Control

In the traditional world, we often have to rely on third parties to secure our data and transactions. In the world of blockchain and Web3, security is built into the technology itself. Immutable information recorded on a blockchain is inherently more secure than centralised databases, which can be vulnerable to cyber attacks.

In addition, user control is a distinctive feature of Web3. Users can autonomously decide with whom to share their data and what information to make public. This contrasts with the traditional model, in which we often have to grant access to sensitive data to numerous entities.

Socioeconomic Impacts and Possible Applications

The introduction of Web3 and blockchain will have profound effects on society and the economy. We may see a reduction in dependence on financial intermediaries, as peer-to-peer transactions can take place directly between the parties involved. Sectors such as finance, logistics, healthcare and many others could undergo a revolution in automation and transparency.

Reserve-of-Value

One of the main reasons why people consider Bitcoin as a store-of-value is concern about inflation. Traditional currencies can lose value over time due to central banks and governments 'printing money'. This increase in the money supply can lead to higher prices for goods and services over time. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is programmed to be deflationary, with a limited maximum amount of coins. This means that in the long run, Bitcoin could maintain its purchasing power or even increase it.

Method-of-Payment-and-Cost-Reduction

Transactions of cryptocurrencies can be faster and cheaper than traditional payment methods, especially in international transfers. Transaction costs can be significantly reduced, as there is no need for financial intermediaries or payment services. This can be especially useful in regions where banking services are limited or expensive.

Traceability in the Supply Chain

One of the most promising applications of blockchain is traceability in the supply chain. Companies can use blockchain technology to record and verify every step of a product along its supply chain. This can be particularly useful in the food industry and luxury goods manufacturing, where provenance and authenticity are crucial.

In the digital age, copyright management and digital content protection have become significant challenges. Blockchains could enable creators to securely register their copyrights and track the use of their works on the Internet, for example through NFTs. This could help reduce piracy and ensure that creators are properly compensated.

Supranational Digital Identity

Blockchains can be used to create supranational digital identity systems. Individuals could have a single digital identity that can be verified and used worldwide without the need for physical documents. This could simplify bureaucratic processes and improve access to global services, including, for example, education and healthcare.

Secure Electronic Voting

Blockchains can address the challenges associated with electronic voting, ensuring the security and integrity of results. Votes would be recorded immutably on the blockchain, reducing the risks of fraud and manipulation. This could help strengthen trust in democratic processes.

Conclusions

In conclusion, having better understood what a blockchain is and the concept of Web3, we can say that the door is opening to a decentralised future, where transactions, security and control are driven by technology and community rather than centralised intermediaries. This revolution has the potential to radically change the way we operate online and interact with the digital world. We are happy to contribute with SpazioCrypto, and invite you to explore our Web3 Guide section to learn more insights and details about cryptocurrencies and the Web3 revolution. With a clearer understanding of what a blockchain is and how it fits into the Web3 concept, we are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of this new technological horizon.

By Ziken Labs profile image Ziken Labs
Updated on
Web3 Guide Blockchain Web3 Crypto Smart Contracts