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What exactly does Blockchain mean?

The term Blockchain appears more and more often on the Internet, not least in connection with the Bitcoin, and now also begins  to leave its footprint in the conventional economy. Many consider Blockchain to be “The next big thing”.

What exactly does Blockchain mean? Which principle is behind this?

Blockchain means that records are summarized in so-called “blocks” and then concatenated. The data contained in the blocks each generate a number sequence, the so-called “hash value”. This hash value is taken over into the next block. If data in a block should now be changed later, the subsequent blocks will also change. The changes can be tracked, manipulation is practically impossible. Since thousands of copies of the respective blockchain lie on the Internet on so-called nodes, no central monitoring is necessary anymore, but there is a decentralized control.

An example is the banking industry. Previously, account movements had to be controlled by a central authority. If financial transactions are now mapped via a blockchain, they are logged forgery-proof. If e.g. the amount of a transfer is subsequently manipulated, this manipulation can be clearly found. Therefore, a decentralized control is possible.