To understand distributed ledger, we will start by understanding a ledger. A ledger is a record in which commercial accounts are recorded, which can be considered the backbone of accounting. Ledgers have existed in many forms, from when clay has been used to keep records, to stones, to the paper age and then this computer age where it is digitalized. The digitized record emulates the same accounting pattern used on paper during its early phase, but advancement in technology especially in the cryptography and algorithmic areas of computing lead to the production of distributed ledgers.
Understanding distributed ledgers
A distributed ledger is a digital type of accounting where performed transactions are recorded in multiple ledgers at different places at the same time. Rather than the conventional way of keeping record where there is a main ledger, the distributed ledger record are generated separately by each node in the distributed network.
Record distribution over the network is unique as each record in individual ledgers are generated autonomously and saved by each node without any main node’s instruction. The principle governing are:
1. Every node in the network is independent
2. The node processes every transaction and determines the validity of the transaction.
3. Other nodes try to validate the result.
4. the result of the majority wins.
How to implement a distributed ledger
The blockchain technology is a very popular type of digitally distributed ledger. It separates data into independent chunks of data, which are then linked together, with a rule that data can only be added. The blockchain technology has been making waves especially financial sector as it might change the future of the financial sector. It promises efficiency, security and addressing of current challenges in the financial sector. It might as well break through to other sectors like manufacturing and energy. Want to more about blockchain?
The distributed ledger is far more flexible than the traditional paper accounting method, it is safer and more secure. With distributed journals it possible to send valued assets digitally without getting a central authority, a middleman, or any third party involved since the users are the ones to keep track and confirm the validity of record. Making the records more secure as validated records are immutable.
How are distributed ledgers different?
As we can see from the explanation above, the validation and maintenance of records and data are in the hands of the individuals in the distributed network, removing the importance of middlemen, 3rd parties and central authorities, thus making it a very trustworthy, transparent form of performing transaction without the fear of record been changed.
These attributes have made people embrace the new decentralized technology, enhancing its use in the stock trading, money exchange, contracts, the unbanked and crypto trading and this seems like only the beginning.