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Distributed Ledger

A distributed ledger is a type of database that is shared, replicated, and synchronized among the members of a decentralized network.

How are blockchain and distributed ledger different? The most important difference to remember is that blockchain is just one type of distributed ledger. Although blockchain is a sequence of blocks, distributed ledgers do not require such a chain.

How does distributed ledger work? The distributed ledger records the transactions, such as the exchange of assets or data, among the participants in the network. Participants in the network govern and agree by consensus on the updates to the records in the ledger.

Interesting facts

  • In 2016, some banks tested distributed ledgers for payments. This was done to see if investing in distributed ledgers is supported by their usefulness.
  • They may be mineable (you can claim ownership of new coins contributing with a node) or not mineable (the creator of the cryptocurrency owns all at the beginning).
  • R3’s Corda is a blockchain-inspired open-source distributed ledger platform for decentralized app development, there is no blockchain.