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  • Julie McKenna

Blockchain as a Digital Filing Cabinet - Blockchain Basics for RIAs

Have you ever found yourself grappling with the intricate concepts of blockchain, feeling like you're on the verge of understanding, yet just out of reach? It's a common experience. You've probably heard terms like "digital ledger" and "decentralization," which sound logical in theory but remain elusive in practice. We have had a lot of success in explaining through analogies, so that’s what we are going to do in this post. Our goal is to make the core component of blockchain, the 'blocks,' easier to understand. To do this, we'll use an analogy based on the familiar concept of a filing cabinet.


Blocks: The Drawers in Our Filing Cabinet


Imagine a blockchain as a digital filing cabinet. Just like a real filing cabinet, it contains drawers. In the blockchain world, these drawers are referred to as "blocks." Each block can hold a specific amount of information. Think of these blocks as individual containers where data is stored.


Data: The Varied Contents of Our Drawers


Now, what goes inside these digital drawers (blocks)? Well, it's not just limited to paperwork like you might find in a physical filing cabinet. In the digital world of blockchain, these drawers can store various types of data. This data could include financial transactions, similar to bills and receipts you might keep in a filing cabinet. But it can also encompass contracts, such as legal documents, or even digital artwork, like images and videos.


The key takeaway here is that the data within a blockchain is diverse and can represent different types of information or actions.


Linking Drawers Together: Creating the Chain


Here's where the blockchain aspect comes into play. Just like a physical filing cabinet, we want to keep our digital drawers (blocks) organized. To do this, the drawers (blocks) are linked together in a specific order, forming a chain. This sequential arrangement ensures that we can easily locate and reference the stored information.


Imagine that as one drawer gets filled with data, it's locked and labeled. The next drawer in line is then opened, continuing the sequence. This process creates a secure and organized chain of information.

Security and Immutability: Sealing the Drawers


One of the most critical features of a blockchain is its security and immutability. Once you've placed something in a drawer (block) and sealed it by locking it, it becomes extremely challenging to alter or tamper with. This level of security ensures that the information stored in the blockchain can be trusted.


Think of it like sealing an envelope. Once you've sealed an envelope, it's evident if someone tries to open it and change its contents. Similarly, once a drawer (block) in the blockchain is sealed, any attempt to modify its data would leave a trace, making it secure and reliable.


In essence, a blockchain can be understood as a digital filing cabinet. It consists of blocks (drawers) that store various types of data (documents). These blocks are linked together in a specific order to create a chain, ensuring organization. Once data is placed in a block and sealed, it becomes highly secure and resistant to tampering.


Data organization and security through blockchain technology provide a multitude of advantages. By allowing for the diverse storage of data and establishing a structured, orderly arrangement, blockchain fosters efficient data management. Moreover, the robust security measures inherent to blockchain ensure the trustworthiness of stored information.



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