Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is the publicly distributed ledger of all Bitcoin address balances and transactions.
As transactions happen on the network they are added to the blockchain in blocks (groups of transactions) by miners. The miners use their computing power to confirm the transactions are legitimate, put the transactions into blocks and crytographically link the block to the blockchain.
The miners run the network, confirming transactions and keeping the network secure. Any changes to the network or protocol are made by consensus of miners, meaning any changes to the protocol must be agreed upon by the majority of miners before they can be implemented.
The cryptography ensures that the records on the blockchain cannot be altered by a bad actor on the network.
Blockchain, the invention behind Bitcoin, enables trust between parties who don’t know each other and otherwise have no reason to trust each other. It’s a system that cannot be cheated.
Blockchain technology is being developed rapidly with new start ups all over the world working on blockchain based projects. There are many new crypto currencies and payment systems emerging as well as smart contracts and a broad range of other industries implementing blockchain technology into their fields.
Companies exploring blockchain capabilities for their business can raise funds by means of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which in return gives investors tokens for future products and services of the company at a reduced rate. These tokens can then be traded on crypto coin exchanges.