The general operating principle of blockchain is simple and intuitive. It’s a chain of blocks, which include sequentially saved transactions. If one of the blocks is fully filled with transactions, the blockchain network ensures a creation of a new block, compatible with the previous one. In order to ensure continuity and immutability of data, next blocks are connected due to cryptography. A signature is added to every transaction. It’s generated by the sender’s private key, the public sender’s and recipient’s key, as well as the message’s contents. On the basis of the signature and both public keys, the recipient may verify the sender and the information authenticity.
Each transaction also has its hash, generated on the basis of the data it contains. A change introduced to any of the data would lead to a change in the hash function’s result (a function which assigns to any big number a short, always fixed in size, non-specific, quasi-random value, so-called non-invertible shortcut), so it would be very easily detectable. Any network user may add his own transaction to the chain. The only condition is that he owns enough tokens, the cryptocurrency used in a specific network. They are necessary because the operations in blockchain are not free and they require a confirmation from over a half of its users. The fee for each transaction is shared among users who have contributed to the calculation and confirmation of a block. Despite a chain being public, only the owner has access to a transaction’s content thanks to encryption.
The blockchain technology’s enormous potential was soon noticed. Since 2016, we have been observing a trend of creating new chains which compete with the original ones.
During those 5 days we decided to take a look into two of them: Ethereum and Stratis. Ethereum is a global giant in the field of cryptocurrency, while Stratis is a rising star of business solutions based on blockchains. Each of these platforms has both merits and flaws.