A-Z: What are blocks on the blockchain?

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Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Blockchain A – Z covers all of the important topics you need to know if you’re just getting into blockchain! We go letter by letter with each episode defining a specific topic. By the end of the series, you’ll know your blockchain ABCs!

What are blocks?

Transactions from the network fill blocks. As the transactions are validated, they are compiled into the blockchain permanently.

Blocks include a timestamp and connects to the previous block. Additionally, blocks execute at a specific time. The consecutive string of every block ever executed makes up a blockchain.

They’re built in such a way that they cannot be changed once recorded. They are essentially a bunch of packaged data that if confirmed, become part of the permanent blockchain.

Read more about blockchain technology here.

Want to get a little deeper?

Blocks are verified through different methods, but most frequently something called Proof-of-Work (PoW). Furthermore, blocks have to be hashed to be verified and posted to the blockchain. Hashing in itself is easy, but to make it more secure and proven, a difficulty is added to this hash. It takes extra computational effort to verify it then.

“Miners” are who do this. When a block is successfully hashed, the hashing must have taken some time and computational effort. Thus, a hashed block is considered proof of work. Miners receive a reward for processing transactions in a given block, and this is called the block reward.

Want to explore some blocks?

Block Explorers are online tools for exploring the blockchain of a particular cryptocurrency. There you can watch and follow live all the transactions happening on the blockchain, and find information that is included in each of those blocks. For more info, check out our tutorial for how to use one here!

Extra facts!

  • What’s referred to as the genesis block is the first block in a blockchain.
  • Block height refers to the number of blocks connected together in the blockchain. For example, Height 0, would be the very first block, which is also called the genesis block.

For more blockchain terminology and vocab, head over to our Blockchain Glossaries, where we have a wide range of terms you should definitely know! Here you can learn more about what a public or private key is, along with cryptocurrency wallets, and more!
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