750-1100 Word Expanded Definition

To: Professor Ellis

From: Kiara Ortiz

Date: 09/29/2021

Subject: Expanded Definition of Blockchain


            The purpose of this document is to elaborate on the background and current relevance to the term Blockchain. Blockchain is a very technical term and has many technical abstractions that can differ from one implementation to the next. How this term is defined and when it’s used in context often subtracts from the revolutionary nature of the technology. The way the general media use the term blockchain sometimes over exaggerates its potential at this stage of its development. One can view Blockchain as a protocol not an application. Where our current work is surrounded by applications, this term refers to a new protocol which applications will be built upon. We will explore how the term is professionally defined and then compare it to how it could be used as a tool for greater exposure in context.


            The simplistic definition of blockchain is relatively clear but is a bit different when it comes from different sources. For example, “A system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network”.[1] This definition describes a blockchain as a non-centralized store tied to some fungible token. On the other hand, “A digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessibly network.” [2] In this definition a blockchain is also described as a non-centralized store of data but also implying the records of are usually of the financial type. Another major difference between the definitions is that the first definition implies the use of fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies as they are possibly integral to the blockchain. The second definition implies that the blockchain must be a “large” decentralized network where as the first definition simply refers to it as a peer-to-peer network. These differences are not accidental as in the industry there is no specific blockchain that is the standard. An example of the blockchain term affects the stock industry is the name change of Long Island Ice tea Corporation in 2017. “… large stock gains from a name change [are] the company Long Island Ice tea Corporation, which changed their name to Long Blockchain Corporation. On the day of the name change announcement, the price of the stock rose, at most, by approximately 500%.” [4] In this example, the term blockchain is used to as a tool for greater exposure to any company that embraces the term of announces any partnership with such blockchain or cryptocurrency technology. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are intertwined because the cryptocurrency is a fungible token minted on a particular blockchain to use the services and maintain transactions of said chain. A fuller more encompassing definition of blockchain would be a, digitally stored data on a set of computers arranged in a network. This definition doesn’t limit the blockchain to has some representative currency, nor be entirely decentralized. As a single organization could hold and maintain all the access to the record of transactions. So a centralized and single entity controlled blockchain is also possible.


            In order to shed some light between the differences of the definitions we could bring in a third definition. “[The] Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.” [3] This third definition sheds more light on the definitions shown previously. The blockchain is a store of any form of asset in a digital form by holding this asset as record on a non-changeable ledger.

Working Definition

            A peer-to-peer network across several computers that acts as a digital database for fungible and non-fungible digital data. The network maintains trust and the validity of the transactions on its protocol using complex cryptographic processes. This network is integral and foundational to cryptocurrencies.


[1] Lexico Dictionaries (Oxford). (n.d.). Blockchain English definition and meaning. Lexico Dictionaries | English. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/blockchain.

[2] Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Blockchain. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blockchain.

[3] What is blockchain technology?. IBM. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.ibm.com/topics/what-is-blockchain.

[4] Carlsson, C., Danielsson, F., & Svensson, C. (2018, May). The effect of blockchain related corporate … – diva portal. The effect of blockchain related corporate name changes on stock prices. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1235823/FULLTEXT01.pdf.

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