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Brief introduction to blockchain (I)

Time : 30/07/2021 Author : dj4nfe Click : + -
        In fact, blockchain is a part of the Internet. At ordinary times, the basis of a treasure shopping and a group takeout is the transmission mode between Internet data and data. Blockchain is a data transmission method that integrates cryptography, distributed storage, smart contract, consensus algorithm and other new technologies. The existing Internet has been upgraded and innovated. Blockchain is essentially a database that cannot be tampered with. In the process of data uploading, the data will be packaged and matched together to form data blocks, which is like a factory packaging fruit into glass bottles to produce canned fruit. The packaged data blocks have another scientific name called "blocks". Each "can", that is, the blocks are connected together in chronological order to form a chain network.
        Because the whole network structure is composed of "block" and "chain", the founder named it blockchain blockchain. The most important feature of blockchain is decentralization. What is decentralization. For example, a treasure we usually use for shopping is actually centralized. Whether it is choosing goods or paying transactions, there is an inseparable platform for buyers and sellers, Alibaba. As a central platform, it maintains the whole online shopping ecology. The so-called decentralization is to remove the center of Alibaba and re-establish a new set of rules that we can jointly manage data and trade freely. There are many problems with centralization. In the centralized mode, the data is stored in the central server. Once the server breaks down, the whole network will have problems.
        In addition, industry data is concentrated in a few giant companies. Due to the opacity of data management, once the data is leaked, the consequences are disastrous. The advantage of decentralization is that through everyone's participation in data maintenance, data information is no longer centralized, so as to solve these problems. Everyone can equally participate in the management and maintenance of data. The essence of blockchain is a large ledger in which everyone can participate in bookkeeping. Everyone also has a small ledger to back up all the data of the large ledger example. When a transaction data is generated, someone will process the data and synchronize it to everyone's small ledger for confirmation. Most of them think the data is line C; When it is credible, this data will be recorded in the ledger of the whole blockchain network, and everyone will update the new data synchronously.
        The advantage of this mechanism is that it solves the problem of trust. For example, our social shopping data are now in the hands of centralized giants. Once they change our data, we have no way to know. However, in the world of blockchain, as long as someone wants to change the data, it will conflict with the data recorded in other small ledgers and will be discovered soon. So as to ensure the security and trust of data. Therefore, the operation principle of blockchain is a process of common bookkeeping, mutual verification and consensus. The so-called mining in blockchain is different from mining in our daily life. It refers to a reward behavior in blockchain network. In order to encourage everyone to actively participate in data maintenance, the blockchain has a reward rule. Whoever can process the data fastest and best and get the recognition of the system can get the corresponding amount of bitcoin as a reward.
        Because the number of bitcoin is limited, this behavior is similar to that of gold mining, so we call the way to obtain bitcoin through this rule mining, and these people involved in data processing are called miners. Miners are like the protector of blockchain. They need to maintain the operation of the network, protect the security of the network, and everyone can participate. Blockchain is a database in which everyone can participate in data processing. Every once in a while, miners need to collect and process the transaction data that has not been confirmed by everyone before. The system has a special mechanism. When all miners package the data, a "hash value" must be added, and the "hash value" must meet certain conditions before the system will recognize the data you process. Who can complete it first and broadcast his work results to other miners for confirmation. Most of them think that they can get the right to record data and a lot of bitcoins as rewards.
        It's a bit like a pirate king who left a large amount of gold and silver treasure and told everyone to look for it. Who can open the key to my treasure and who can get all my wealth. This is also an important link in maintaining the whole blockchain network. The more people mining, the more people involved in data confirmation. The more secure our data is. The bifurcation of blockchain can be said to be a unique version upgrading method in blockchain network. Just like the Internet software used in our life, after using it for a period of time, it naturally needs to be optimized and upgraded to solve the use problems of some users. The same is true of blockchain, but its upgrading is special. When upgrading, participating miners will work together to solve it, and even produce multiple versions. Unlike the Internet, a dictatorship has no choice.
        Its principle is like this. Because the blockchain is a chain structure composed of data blocks, when it is to be upgraded, it will actually be connected from a data block to two different data blocks, which will be divided into two chains. Just like branches, everyone shares the same trunk and shares the data before separation, but many branches belong to multiple chains. This process is called bifurcation. As we said before, the upgrading of blockchain is decided by miners. Since there are many participants, there will be different opinions. When we can reach a consensus, the two forked chains are equivalent to one is the old version and the other is the new version. The two are compatible. After the miners on the old chain upgrade, they gradually transition to the new chain. Finally, after the upgrade, only the new chain is left. This is called soft bifurcation.
        When the miners can't reach a consensus, although we can use the previous data, we form two new chains, just like species evolution. One part of monkeys evolved into humans and the other part evolved into orangutans. The two species have changed and are incompatible with each other, which is called hard bifurcation. Generally speaking, although the upgrading method of bifurcation is a lot of trouble, it gives everyone more choices. Perhaps the blockchain breeds more possibilities in the process of seeking common ground while reserving differences. Generally speaking, according to the openness of blockchain, it can be divided into three types: public chain, private chain and alliance chain. The so-called public chain is a bit like a public ledger that everyone keeps accounts together. It is open to anyone. Everyone can participate in it. The data is recorded jointly by everyone. It is fair and public. The data cannot be tampered with and decentralized is the strongest.
        The private chain is opposite to the public chain. It is a bit like a private ledger belonging to an individual or company. It is only open to individuals and enterprises. Although its data can not be tampered with, after all, the degree of openness is limited and the degree of decentralization is very weak. However, because the number of people involved in data processing is reduced, the efficiency will be much higher than that of the public chain. The alliance chain is between the two, which is a bit like an alliance composed of multiple companies. The public account data used internally is jointly maintained by the members of the alliance and is only open to the members of the organization. Its degree of decentralization is moderate and even multi centralized. It is stronger than the public chain and weaker than the private chain in terms of efficiency. Generally speaking, different types of blockchains have different functions. The public chain is more inclined to public construction, while the private chain alliance chain is more inclined to the application of enterprises or organizations.
        Generally speaking, the core technology of blockchain mainly includes four parts: distributed storage, consensus mechanism, smart contract and cryptography. Each technology has its own role in the whole blockchain system. Among them, distributed storage is a data storage technology. Everyone can participate in data storage, which mainly plays the function of data storage. The consensus mechanism is actually the mining principle we mentioned earlier. It is a mechanism to coordinate everyone's data processing, because everyone can participate in the line C; With so much recorded data, who should use it? So the consensus mechanism determines who gets the bookkeeping right of the data. The consensus mechanism mainly plays the role of data maintenance.
        Smart contract is similar to the contract in our life. It is a technology that everyone formulates the rules and the machine automatically executes them. Before storing and maintaining good data, someone must always execute it. Therefore, smart contract mainly plays the role of data execution in the system. It proves that bitcoin and my ability to decrypt data play a major role in the security of the network. Therefore, when a data is generated, there will be a consensus mechanism for data maintenance. It will be recorded on the chain through distributed storage, and then handed over to the smart contract for execution. Finally, cryptography will ensure the security of the whole system.
        Everyone performed their respective duties and jointly built the whole blockchain system. Generally speaking, blockchain is an application model of data transmission, which is composed of these four technologies, just as blockchain is a high-rise building, and technology is the material for building this high-rise building. It is because these technologies solve one problem after another that blockchain has broad prospects. We all know that the word blockchain was born together with bitcoin in 2008. Although it was first proposed by Nakamoto, the blockchain technology is not all the core technology of the blockchain invented by Nakamoto. It includes four parts: cryptography, distributed storage, consensus mechanism and smart contract. It took them 40 years of development to have the rudiment of today's blockchain technology.
        In 1976, Duffy and Herman jointly published the paper "the new direction of cryptography", in which the concepts mentioned were like the treasures left by the gods in the new world, which laid the development direction of today's whole cryptography, and countless technical talents began to explore it. In the second year, the birth of RSA algorithm was indicated in cryptography, and this algorithm has not been broken up to now. In the 1980s, the data structure and corresponding algorithms of hash tree and Byzantine general problem were put forward successively in 1980 and 1982, marking that the theory of distributed computing has entered a substantive stage. The birth of elliptic curve encryption algorithm in 1985 made it possible for asymmetric encryption system to be practical. Therefore, the foundation of modern cryptography was fully established.
        The concept of smart contract was put forward in 1997, and the first generation consensus mechanism POW was launched in the same year. At that time, POW was mainly used for anti spam. The four core technologies of this blockchain were basically collected, but there are still many problems that have not been solved. From 1999 to 2001, P2P network computing developed rapidly. The emergence of napsteredonkey2000 and bitorrent laid the foundation of P2P network computing. In 2001, the SHA-2 series of algorithms was born. This set of algorithms was adopted in the blockchain system of bitcoin. So far, the accumulation of core technologies of the blockchain has been basically completed, and there are no major bottlenecks in the implementation of the blockchain in both theory and practice.
        In 2008, the blockchain technology in Nakamoto Cong's paper "bitcoin a point-to-point e-cash system" was established and successfully implemented the next year, announcing that a new era is coming. The four core technologies of blockchain are cryptography, distributed ledger consensus mechanism and smart contract, and cryptography is the most important part, because cryptography can be said to be the cornerstone of blockchain, and other technologies build the high-rise building of blockchain on this basis. There are two main cryptographic algorithms used in blockchain, one is hash algorithm, and the other is asymmetric encryption. In short, the hash algorithm is a special function. No matter how long a string of characters I input, as long as I use this function, I can get a fixed length output value. Just like our ID number, it is always 18 digits and the only value in China is called the hash value.
        Hash algorithm has three characteristics. They endow the blockchain with the characteristics of non tampering and anonymity, and ensure the security of the whole blockchain system. The first feature of the hash algorithm is unidirectional. For example, we can get a hash value by entering our data through the hash algorithm, but there is no way to deduce our data through this hash value. This is unidirectional. It is based on this that the blockchain effectively protects the security of our information. The second characteristic of hash algorithm is anti tampering ability. For any input, even a small change, the change of hash value will be very large. Its characteristics play a key role in the connection between blocks.
        Each block of the blockchain will be identified by the Greek value of the above block. Unless someone can crack all hash values on the whole chain, once the data is recorded on the chain, it is impossible to tamper with it. The third feature of hash algorithm is the anti-collision ability. The so-called collision is to input two different data and finally get the same output, just like when we hit clothes when shopping, and anti-collision is that most of the inputs can get a unique output. In the world of blockchain, the address of any transaction or account is completely generated based on the hash algorithm, which ensures the uniqueness of the transaction or account address in the blockchain network. No matter how much money I transfer or how many individuals I transfer, it is unique in the blockchain ledger.
        Generally speaking, hash algorithm is the most basic existence in blockchain technology. It is like white blood cells in our body. Not only can every part of the blockchain be inseparable, but also it gives various characteristics to the blockchain and protects the security of the whole blockchain system. In short, asymmetric encryption is a special method for encrypting content. We always use keys and locks in our daily life. The key we use to open the door is called a key in cryptography. For example, this way that only one key is used for both encryption and decryption is called symmetric encryption. The so-called asymmetric encryption is special. It will produce two keys. The core is called the private key. It will be kept by ourselves, and the other will be published as the public key. They have a feature that the content encrypted by the private key can be decrypted and read through the public key. On the contrary, the content encrypted by the public key can also be decrypted and read out by the private key, just like the telepathy of twins.
        The main purpose of asymmetric encryption in the blockchain is not to protect the privacy of the content, but to prevent the identity from being impersonated. When we conduct a transaction on the blockchain network, I can't determine whether it is you. At this time, you can use the private key to encrypt a piece of content and send it as a digital signature, and then I crack it through the public key, because the private key is only reserved by you. If we use it against it The successful cracking of Ying's public key indicates that you are operating yourself. If you can't crack it, it means that someone else stole your identity, so as to solve the problem of "I'm me, this is me trading". Generally speaking, cryptography is the most basic existence in blockchain network. It not only protects the security of the whole network, but also solves the problem of proof in many transactions.
        Distributed ledger is one of the four core technologies of blockchain. If cryptography is the cornerstone of blockchain, then distributed ledger is the skeleton of blockchain. For example, in the early use of a treasure software, our information is actually stored in a large database of Alibaba. The information is relatively concentrated. Once the centralized database has problems, there will be serious consequences such as downtime and unavailability. Later, Ali realized that there were potential risks in the data, so he scattered the data into multiple databases to store the data together. Even if one of them had a problem, other databases could continue to operate instead of it to ensure the normal operation of the whole Youbao network. The technology of decentralized data storage is distributed database.
        The distributed ledger adopted by the blockchain is more special. It is also a distributed database. The difference between it and the distributed database used by Alibaba is that the blockchain is decentralized and Alibaba is centralized. Like the centralized database used by Alibaba, the data is stored in a large database
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