Altcoins Guides


What is Audius?

What is Internet Computer?

What is Elrond?

What is VeChain?

What is Ethereum Classic?

What is Avalanche?

What is Brave’s Basic Attention Token?

What is Flow – the developer-friendly blockchain?

What is Chainlink and why does it matter in the crypto world?

What is the DAI stablecoin?

What is THORChain?

What is Tron?

What is Axie Infinity?

What is the FTX Token?

What is Klaytn and how does it work?

What is NEAR Protocol?

What is Polygon?

What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?

 What is Kusama – a canary network for Polkadot experiments? 

What is Zilliqa?

What is OMG network?

What is Terra?

What is Algorand?

What is Graph Protocol?

What is HIVE blockchain?

An introduction to the IOTA protocol

Five XRP wallets you should consider using

What is NEO cryptocurrency?

Three reasons why blockchain games are on the rise

What is the USD coin?

TrueUSD: Can it be trusted?

What is Skycoin?

Tezos for beginners

Bitcoin vs. Altcoins: The differences you should know

An introduction to Tether

The beginner’s guide to stablecoins

What is Dash cryptocurrency?

What is Cardano?

A beginner’s guide to blockchain

What is Litecoin?

What is Stellar cryptocurrency?

A beginner’s guide on how to mine Ethereum

A beginner’s guide to mining new altcoins

What is EOS?

What is Ripple?

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for beginners

Ethereum (ETH) for beginners

Cryptocurrency terms for beginners

What is cryptocurrency?

A brief history of Ethereum

What is cryptocurrency mining?

The use of blockchain technology in digital advertising

A guide to the Ripple product suite

The top five privacy cryptocurrencies

Stablecoins: what are the risks and benefits?

The best GPUs for cryptocurrency mining

What are the best strategies for mining cryptocurrency?

A beginner’s guide to data mining and cryptographic hash functions

Understanding tokenomics

How to mine for cryptocurrencies

Why does decentralisation of cryptocurrencies matter?

What is a Mining Pool?

What is Hash Rate?

What is a smart contract?

What is Proof of Work?

How network nodes are used in cryptocurrency

Four projects leading the way in database sharding

Explore other guides


A beginner’s guide to blockchain

Blockchain technology is gaining more and more popularity and is having a major impact in all sectors. In this guide, we cover the basics to help demystify blockchain technology

Blockchain isn’t just some buzzword that is used to garner hype online. It’s real technology with a real purpose. Blockchain is much more than a word – it’s an entire movement. Our blockchain technology guide explains everything you need to know.

What is blockchain?

At its simplest, blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT). It is a database that stores and records all incoming transactions for anybody to see. But this doesn’t mean that you can necessarily be identified. Part of the technology incorporated into blockchain encrypts all incoming and outgoing data so that it becomes hard to trace; not impossible, but incredibly difficult.

In more technical terms, a blockchain is a collection of data (blocks), and every time a transaction is made, it is broadcast to the network. It is then the job of a data miner to solve cryptographic puzzles, and once they have done so, that block becomes secured on the blockchain. Then, anybody viewing the blockchain can see that block of data. Again, no identification is used, so whilst your transaction is clearly there for anybody to see, you are not. This is what is dubbed as ‘pseudo-anonymity’ in the crypto space.

Decentralisation and transparency

Blockchain is decentralised, meaning no singular entity can have complete control over it. For example, banks or governments may dictate and control finances, personal information, and so on, but blockchain doesn’t. A single blockchain is spread across the world on many devices, often referred to as nodes, that come together to support an entire network that is free from central control. Because there is no centralised entity, there isn’t a single target to be hacked. Furthermore, nobody is leaking your private information to anyone.

Another key term used in the blockchain space is ‘transparency.’ This is because transparency is the very essence of blockchain technology. Blockchain wants to react against the current centralised regime and give customers back control. Take the banking industry for example. They charge astronomical fees for transactions and to store our funds, but why? Blockchain wants us to have ‘self-sovereignty’ and more control over transactions.

One advantage this brings is that we can freely see all transactions that occur across the world, making it ideal for the retail and financial sectors as money and orders can be tracked at every stage.


The applications for blockchain extend far. For instance, because it is a secure network and works in real time, it can be used to record medical treatments. Here are some Coin Rivet articles that detail some of the major applications of blockchain:

How does it really work?

So, now you’re aware of why people love blockchain, what applications it currently has and could have in the future, and the basics of it how functions. Now, we will take a slightly more in-depth look at how blockchain technology works.

For this example, we will take Bitcoin’s blockchain. Each block of data is assigned a ‘hash’ for security. Bitcoin is encrypted with the SHA-256 algorithm, meaning each block is generated a random 256-bit hash. This hash is incredibly hard to invert, because it would take an insanely high-power computer to attempt a ‘brute force’ search for all possible combinations to successfully guess the hash. While Bitcoin is not necessarily the most secure cryptocurrency, the SHA-256 algorithm is very secure.

Each block of data is also cryptographically linked. Every successive block will contain the previous block’s hash. This binds them together and ensures that people do not tamper with previous blocks retroactively, because if the hash was even minutely changed, the new hash would be changed so extensively that they would appear uncorrelated. Therefore, the data would become corrupted and people would notice; because, remember, transparency is vital.

Because blockchain technology is decentralised, there is no singular entity controlling it, and so a single person cannot change the contents of a block and then update the hash on successive blocks. This is because the blockchain is replicated on every computer for every user in the network. Once you join a blockchain, your computer will download the blocks, and if you were to tamper with your version, the network wouldn’t consider your version as the ‘true’ version. This is because thousands and thousands of other computers have got the correct blockchain.

This blockchain technology guide does by no means examine everything blockchain has to offer; it is an introduction to its vast world. For more information and guides from Coin Rivet, click here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.