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Originally Answered: What is blockchain? Where it is used?
Blockchain is a way of storing data in blocks such that each block carries information of last ( being technical contains hash of header of last block). Now you would be thinking we already have concept of databases then why do we need blockchain ? Well simply speaking blockchain allows immutability ( along with transparency) means if you ones write data its nearly impractical to change the data ( new blocks keep getting added to store upcoming data and to change any bit of data you need to change all upcoming blocks , breaking so much of encryptions while coping up with more of blocks that are formed in impractical.) So say whenever you want to store data in an immutable way you can use blockchain.
Another important aspect of blockchain is it provides us data storage and data access ( and completely reliable) without any third party help. Means you don’t need to contact any third party for any kind of information. All the information is openly available and can be accessed by anyone who wants to. Blockchain can help us make this world decentralised ( a system having no centralised power or say no administrator). Its like democracy for system ( where public or technically speaking nodes decides what the algorithm for blockchain would be) and is not regulated or controlled by one person ( all nodes which are serving for validating and storing data in blocks together run the blockchain). The code that is needed to validate data is openly available and anyone who feels like becoming a validator for data can join that blockchain.
In short every line of code is open to everyone , everyone has equal power or opportunity to access the data stored in blockchain , everyone who has will can part of the team that helps to add more data ( though it can add the data thar satiafies the rules or protocols mentioned by the code which is available openly).
Most of cryptocurrencies use blockchain for storing their transactions. Governments of different countries are working on making blockchains to provide immutability to all important documents. You can in fact use blockchain anywhere you want to but remember if you are running such a business where data needs to be changed ( you completely want to destroy some earlier data and want write it again ) blockchain is not an option for you.
Daily new startups are appearing which are using blockchain as it provides trust and transparency which is backbone of a reliable business. Blockchain could help us solve many problems where we need immutability or trust along with transparency. Brazil may host elections using ethereum blockchain. Blockchain could help us kill corruption im countries ( as flow of budget money could be transparent). There is unlimited scope for blockchain in the future ahead.
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Answer is highly simlified and i have not included case of private blockchains ( where all nodes belong to some owner or company and public cant become node). In private blockchain company can redefine a complete new blockchain ( and can change the data in that way) because all nodes that will decide blockchain algorithm are in hands of owner.
Most of countries are working on making their own centralised blockchains ( most of banks too for transactions) for storing data. Though centralised ( all nodes in hands of government) still very reliable. Even if all nodes are in your hand cryptography concepta still remain valid so if you thinking govt will change any data they feel like it won’t be that easy. They could update some data but old data will still be stored ( forever). The only way to remove that old data is to forget the old blockchain and make a new blockchain ( starting at least from the block in which that data was contained). So it will still be better than usual databases.
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