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What is a block chain?

Software application development professionals working on security related technologies touching so-called cryptocurrencies will be aware of the block chain (or blockchain).

bitcoin-logo-3d.jpg

This is a network-based ‘inviolable ledger’ that, in terms of form and function, is fully public and is constantly being updated and confirmed by autonomous computers.

In line with this technology, a sequential transaction database technique is used to keep a ledger of cryptocurrency monies.

Completing the picture here (or at least adding another layer of colour) is the fact that transmission of ‘bits’ of data can performed using Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) where a sequence of bits are encrypted with a cipher key applied to a single block.

Notable cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Peercoin and NXT/Nextcoin — these are the brands with the highest current levels of market capitalisation.

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