How is Blockchain a linked list?

+1 vote
I am learning about Blockchain Technology and the structure of Blockchain seems to be like a Single Linked list. Can someone tell me if Blockchain is a Single linked list?
Apr 6, 2018 in Blockchain by ned_crew
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edited Apr 25 by Omkar 2,161 views

8 answers to this question.

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Blockchain is similar to Single Linked List but there are many differences between these two. 

In a Single Linked list, there are a set of nodes connected to each other through a pointer. Every node has a pointer that points to the next node in the list and it is not possible to trace back to the previous node from the current node.

In Blockchain, similar to single linked list, each block is connected to each other. But in Blockchain the flow of trace is opposite to single linked list. In Blockchain, you can trace back to the previous block all the way to the genesis block (first block of the chain) from the current block. 

The main difference between a Blockchain and a single linked list is that the data in the single linked list can be altered or erased but the data in the blockchain can not be altered or erased.

answered Aug 3, 2018 by Omkar
• 67,620 points

selected Aug 3, 2018 by ned_crew
+1 vote

The blockchain is, in fact, represented as a singly linked list. Each block has a hash of the previous block - which can be thought of as a pointer to previous block.

In the blockchain each transaction in the block is stored in a Merkle Tree. But the blockchain itself is not a tree.

One of the major difference between a blockchain and a linked list is that you can't remove or add a block in the middle of the list/chain.

The way a blockchain is represented as a singly linked list. Each block has a hash of the previous block which can be thought of as a pointer to previous block.

Some differences are that in a linked list, there are generally more operations for a linked list that are not available in a blockchain, most notably being able to remove a block and to add a block in the middle of the list/chain.

answered Apr 6, 2018 by Christine
• 15,790 points

edited Aug 3, 2018 by Omkar
0 votes
Yes, you can say that Blockchain structure is similar to single linked list but it is not exactly single linked list,
answered Aug 27, 2018 by Abhinav
0 votes

The similarity between a Blockchain and Single Linked list is that it grows in one direction and that they can be represented in a similar way. But there are a lot of differences between them. 

For example:

  • You can not change or delete data in Blockchain but you can in Linked list.
  • You can not re-arrange the blocks in Blockchain but you can in Linked list.
  • You only store ledgers or receipts in Blockchain but its not the same in Linked list.
answered Oct 23, 2018 by Manasa
0 votes
The structure or representation of Blockchain maybe similar to that of a linked list but Blockchain is not a linked list. A linked list is a data structure used in programming languages. Whereas Blockchain is one huge Technology.
answered Apr 25 by Sharan
0 votes
No, Blockchain is not a single linked list. A single linked list is a data structure that is used to store some data and the nodes are linked using a pointer. In the case of Blockchain, the data is stored in each block using Merkle trees. And Merkle trees use hash to link each blocks.
answered Apr 25 by Vasini
0 votes
Blockchain and single linked list are very different. Blockchain is used to make secure online transactions. What makes Blockchain secure is immutability, decentralized and distributed nature. All these main features are missing when it comes to a single linked list. A single linked list allows users to make changes to the data stored and even delete the data. But Blockchain does not allow this.
answered Apr 25 by Shreya
–1 vote
Blockchain is a single linked list. The only difference is that single list list hold data-types like int, float, string, etc., and Blockchain holds ledgers.
answered Apr 25 by Ramya
Hey @Ramya, you must know have learnt about Blockchain properly. Blockchain is more than just storing the data. The way Blockchain works is completely different than a single linked list.
Hi @Raj. Yes, I do not know Blockchain in depth. But I know that Blockchain is used to store data and so does single linked list. And even the structure looks the same.
Though both Blockchain and single linked list stored data, the kind of data they store and how they operate are very different. And there are many more differences than just the type of data they store. Blockchain has a lot of features like immutability, decentralized etc., and there is something called a consensus mechanism that governs the way Blockchain works.
@Raj Thanks for the explanation. What is this Consensus Mechanism?
Consensus Mechanism is a set of protocol that a Blockchain follows to keep the Blockchain secure and fraud-free.

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