A record of financial transactions that cannot be changed, only appended with new transactions.
In the world of cryptocurrencies
, a ledger is known as a record-keeping system. The ledger keeps track of different participants’ balances and all transactions
that take place. However, the participants’ identities remain anonymous
Public ledgers were used much prior to the birth of digital assets
, but have risen more in prominence since the crypto markets roared to life. Both parties involved in a cryptocurrency transaction can verify the details on the ledger.
is a key type of distributed ledger
technology that records a list of financial transactions or blocks
that cannot be changed, making it immutable
. Ledgers tend to be decentralized
, meaning that they are not overseen by a single central authority. Once a block reaches full capacity, new ones are added to the ledger — and select network
participants dubbed as full nodes
also retain a copy of the ledger. This means they have oversight of the network, the people who use it, and whether transactions are genuine.
There are many challenges in using a ledger. The nature of blockchain requires every transaction to be recorded on the network — and there can also be security concerns. These relate to fears that hackers, governments and security agencies can track public records and information about network participants.