The term Blockchain has been euphemistically used to mean the network on which Bitcoin or other crypto-currencies exist. This is a mistake; the Blockchain is only one of four main components of system on which crypto currencies transact. In fact, the Blockchain itself is only the recorded result of several calculations that are done on the Network. It is the permanent evidence that an exchange of value is verified.
A better description of what people mistakenly refer to as the Block Chain would be the Peer To Peer Network. This is in fact, the “lines” on which the information is transported. While Bitcoin amounts and UTX ID’s are initiated on the network, the validation process begins. Here “mining consensus” must be reached in order to verify the transaction. This is where the mining nodes jump into action, a critical component in the forming of the block chain, and once approval is achieved via the winning node, the action is added as a recording to the existing chain.
Of course this is an over simplification but for you beginners we hope to set you up with a better frame with which to understand future communications.
Ten years ago the notion of an online currency that existed in a decentralized form controlled only by the market forces generated by its users, was unimaginable.
The world of Bitcoin is new and evolving at incredible speed. While this in itself is a good thing it means that those early adopters have a lot of information to catch up on if they want to have any success investing in the space. With the mainstream media taking the usual position of trying to sell headlines rather than useful information, this can create a mixed message for those new to the idea of decentralized currency.
The good news is that the absence of bureaucracy on the Bitcoin Network allows ingenuity to thrive, and overcome any of the problems that show up. And, with more and more people taking an interest, the information available is becoming richer and more refined. That is why groups like us make the effort to gather the valuable tidbits in one succinct and cohesive fashion.