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What is a blockchain?

A blockchain, also known as a distributed ledger, is a digital ‘book’ of records. Unlike traditional financial systems, blockchains are decentralized and are not regulated by any central authority. In a blockchain, nodes (people's computers) agree on the validity of any given transaction using what is called a consensus mechanism. Transactions are grouped together and stored in blocks that are added to the chain in set periods of time called slots. These transactions are visible to everyone, and once validated, records cannot be altered. This immutability guarantees transparency and trust between users.

The advantages of decentralized systems over traditional ones are the following: