The first basics for cryptographically secured chaining of individual blocks were described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta, in 1996 by Ross J. Anderson and in 1998 by Bruce Schneier and John Kelsey. [9] In 1998 Nick Szabo also worked on a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency, which he called "Bit Gold". [10] In 2000, Stefan Konst developed a general theory on cryptographically secured chains and derived various solutions for implementation from it. [9] [11]


The concept of the blockchain as a distributed database management system was first described in 2008 by a person or group of people under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the white paper on Bitcoin. [12] In the following year, "Satoshi Nakamoto" published the first implementation of the Bitcoin software and thereby started the first publicly distributed blockchain.


A blockchain is a chained sequence of data blocks that is updated over time.

Decentralized storage

A blockchain is not stored centrally, but managed as a distributed register. All those involved save their own copy and update it.

Consensus mechanism

It must be ensured that an identical chain is created for all parties involved. For this purpose, suggestions for new blocks must first be drawn up. This is done by validators (which Bitcoin calls "miners"). Then the parties involved have to agree which proposed block will actually be added to the chain. This is done using a so-called consensus protocol, an algorithmic process for voting.


Cryptographic procedures ensure that the blockchain cannot be changed later. The chain of blocks is therefore unchangeable, forgery-proof and tamper-proof.

Transparency / confidentiality

The data stored on the blockchain can be viewed by everyone involved. However, they are therefore not necessarily readable for everyone, because content can be stored in encrypted form. Blockchains thus allow a flexible configuration of the degree of confidentiality.

Through the use of digital signatures, information can be stored in the blockchain, which proves in a forgery-proof manner that participants have undeniably stored certain data, such as initiated transactions. [13]

New blocks are created via a consensus procedure and then attached to the blockchain. [14] The most popular consensus procedure is the proof-of-work method; However, there are numerous other ways of establishing consensus (proof of stake, proof of space, proof of burn, proof of activity). Due to the sequential storage of data in a blockchain, it cannot be changed subsequently without damaging the integrity of the overall system. This makes the manipulation of data much more difficult. The decentralized consensus mechanism replaces the need for a trustworthy third party to confirm the integrity of transactions. [15]


Proof of Work Edit source]

→ Main article: Proof of Work

The proof-of-work provides proof of work e.g. B. represents the solution of a mathematical problem. The result, however, can be checked without much effort. With this method, the excessive creation of a new block is restricted by the fact that arithmetic work has to be performed.


The proof of stake is a proof of the share in the network. The share or the “stake” of each participant is determined from the duration of participation and / or assets and is included in a weighted random selection. A deterministic algorithm selects the node from this number that will add a new block.


Used as a cryptocurrency, in particular, there are limitations in practice in terms of time behavior as well as communication and storage requirements. If you want to check the credibility of a transaction or an account balance yourself, you have to know the current blockchain back to the Genesis block. To do this, each participant must save a complete copy of the previous bookkeeping. The immense storage requirement could then be realized with archive servers, which are the only ones to store the entire blockchain. Based on this, fully validating servers work by initially loading the blockchain from the archive servers, but only work with part of it during operation. You take on the actual burden of the bookings. Participants could then operate software for simplified checking of payments and only receive partial information from the servers

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