The blockchain is immutable because none of the transactions can be changed. The blockchain is validated (e.g., in the Bitcoin space) by the miners who are compensated for building the next secure block. The blockchain is pseudo-anonymous because the identity of those involved in the transaction is represented by an address key in the form of a random string.
That said, this is an evolving space and, like the cloud computing paradigm, there are public, private, and even hybrid blockchains, which we will explore in detail later in this chapter. These blockchain variations on the basic theme are the result of enterprise architects looking to implement blockchain applications to save time and fees. Enterprise requirements around scaling, performance, the need to know the identity of those involved in the transaction, and other things provide its emerging variations. Blockchain evangelists reckon distributed ledger technology has the potential to upend centralized database practices in institutional finance and most other transaction-based technology. In 2017, the technology shifted from hype to commercial reality.