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The public blockchain is also a peer-to-peer program with one very important difference: not only does it move files (data) from peer to peer, it also ensures that all the peers have the same exact data. It enforces this. If the data changes on one machine, it changes on all the machines.


There are rules specifying exactly how a change can be made, and if someone doesn’t follow them and modifies their copy illegally, they’re ignored. It’s no different from an email program trying to send an email without the proper SMTP headers—it won’t be recognized by other email programs. By the same token, if your version gets deleted or corrupted, it’s not a problem, just re-sync with your peers and you get a fresh valid copy.

As noted, the way current public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum work is that instead of changing data within the dataset, new data is just appended onto the old. In other words, data is only written, never deleted. This is how it gets the name blockchain, because new data is added in batches, or blocks, and appended to the existing blocks, forming a chain of blocks.


Not only does everyone have the same database (blockchain), but everyone gets a locker within the blockchain that only they can access.