Blockchain. Ledger. Distributed Ledger.

Blockchain. Ledger. Ledger-less. Distributed Ledger

Blockchain – Ledger:

Terminology is important with business and technology. More so with new and emerging technologies. It is not possible to get a precise definition for new and emerging technologies. As the noise about them is so loud, a standard gets settled a bit later only. Ledger, Ledger-less, Distributed Ledger and Shared Ledger are some of the words much associated with Blockchain. A ledger is simply a record of accounts or transactions. A physical ledger can be in a paper or notebook form. A digital record may be stored in a computer or a server. Deloitte defines a ledger as: an append-only record store, where records are immutable and may hold more general information than financial transactions. To simply understand there can be a central ledger or a distributed ledger. In Blockchain technology, there in no central ledger, instead only a distributed ledger. So the definition for distributed ledger is: a ledger maintained by a group of peers, rather than a central agency.

Transactions. Trust. Recourse.

Let us see a typical transaction done through banking. Transaction 1: A send US $ 100 to B. Transactions 2: B sends US $ 100 to C. Let us assume A,B and C are with three different banks. The first transaction is available with A and B’s bank ledgers. The second transaction is available with B and C’s bank ledgers. Since banks are trusted third parties, A, B and C are sure that the transactions are done for sure. There may be charges, currency exchange rate conversion and time delay. For example, if A, B and C are in three different countries, banks might have taken a charge and a few days time to complete the transactions. In case of any failure or delay, the banks are approached for recourse. The ledger is maintained by banks in these two transactions. These transactions are done without a central agency, say banks, the ledger is maintained by peers or group of peers then this what we call as shared or distributed ledger and Blockchain.

How is it possible to do away with a central agency ledger? How do we trust peers? These questions will be addressed in another Chain Script.

/Malick, Chain Scripts, Chennai, India.

‘I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious’. -Albert Einstein


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