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Is my blockchain a blockchain?

Your blockchain must have all of the following properties:

  • It's a merkle tree, or a construct with equivalent properties.
  • There is no single point of trust or authority; nodes are operated by different parties.
  • Multiple 'forks' of the blockchain may exist - that is, nodes may disagree on what the full sequence of blocks looks like.
  • In the case of such a fork, there must exist a deterministic consensus algorithm of some sort to decide what the "real" blockchain looks like (ie. which fork is "correct").
  • The consensus algorithm must be executable with only the information contained in the blockchain (or its forks), and no external input (eg. no decisionmaking from a centralized 'trust node').

If your blockchain is missing any of the above properties, it is not a blockchain, it is just a ledger.

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