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Public Ledgers in blockchain

Definition of Public ledgers

A public ledger, also known as a transparent or open ledger, is a core component of blockchain technology. It refers to a decentralized and transparent record-keeping system that is accessible to anyone in the blockchain network. In a public ledger, all transactions and relevant information are recorded and stored in a chronological order, forming an immutable chain of blocks.

Where is blockchain Public ledger stored ?

A network of computers copies and spreads blockchain. Every computer on the network updates its blockchain to reflect the addition of a new block to the blockchain.

Explanation of public ledgers in blockchain:

  1. Transparency and Accessibility:
    • Public ledgers are designed to be transparent, allowing anyone to view the transaction history and the current state of the blockchain.
    • This transparency fosters trust and accountability, as participants can verify and audit the transactions independently.
    • Anyone can access the public ledger and validate the information stored within it.
  2. Decentralization:
    • Public ledgers operate on a decentralized network of nodes, where each node maintains a copy of the entire blockchain.
    • There is no central authority controlling or governing the ledger.
    • Instead, the consensus mechanism ensures that all participating nodes agree on the validity of transactions and the state of the blockchain.
  3. Immutable Records:
    • Once a transaction is recorded in a public ledger and added to a block, it becomes virtually immutable.
    • The records cannot be altered or deleted retroactively, providing a historical trail of transactions.
    • This immutability enhances the integrity and reliability of the data stored in the public ledger.
  4. Verification and Consensus:
    • Public ledgers rely on consensus mechanisms, such as Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS), to validate and agree upon the transactions that should be added to the ledger.
    • Participants in the network compete or collaborate to solve complex mathematical puzzles or stake their resources to achieve consensus.
    • Once consensus is reached, the validated transactions are added to the public ledger.
  5. Security and Trust:
    • Public ledgers leverage cryptography to secure the data stored within the blocks.
    • Each block contains a unique digital fingerprint called a hash, which is generated using a cryptographic hash function.
    • The hash ensures the integrity of the data by linking it to the previous block, forming an unbroken chain.
    • Additionally, digital signatures are used to verify the authenticity and integrity of the transactions.
  6. Examples:
    • Public ledgers are commonly associated with public cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
    • In these networks, all transactions and wallet balances are recorded in the public ledger, enabling anyone to track and verify the flow of funds.
    • Other blockchain applications, such as supply chain management, also utilize public ledgers to provide transparency and traceability of goods.

Transparency and immutability of public ledgers:

Transparency and immutability are two fundamental characteristics of public ledgers in blockchain technology.

Let’s explore each of these concepts in detail:


Transparency refers to the visibility and openness of the information stored in a public ledger. In a public blockchain network, the ledger is accessible to anyone who wishes to view it.

This transparency brings several benefits:

  1. Verifiability:
    • Public ledgers allow participants to verify the authenticity and integrity of transactions independently.
    • Anyone can examine the transaction history, check the validity of transactions, and ensure that no fraudulent or unauthorized changes have been made.
  2. Accountability:
    • Transparency in public ledgers promotes accountability among participants.
    • All transactions are recorded in a publicly accessible ledger, discouraging malicious or fraudulent activities.
    • This transparency fosters a sense of trust and enables individuals or entities to hold each other accountable for their actions.
  3. Auditability:
    • The transparent nature of public ledgers simplifies auditing processes.
    • External parties, such as regulators or auditors, can review the blockchain to verify compliance with regulations, confirm the accuracy of financial transactions, or ensure adherence to specific standards.
  4. Trust:
    • Transparency builds trust among participants in the blockchain network.
    • The ability to examine the transaction history and validate the data independently reduces the need for reliance on intermediaries or centralized authorities.
    • Trust is derived from the consensus and agreement reached among the distributed network of nodes.


Immutability refers to the inability to alter or modify data once it has been recorded on the blockchain. In a public ledger, once a transaction is added to a block and subsequently added to the blockchain, it becomes extremely difficult to change or tamper with the data.

Immutability provides the following benefits:

  1. Data Integrity:
    • Immutability ensures the integrity and reliability of the data stored in the public ledger.
    • Each transaction is cryptographically linked to the previous transaction and secured with a hash, creating an unbroken chain.
    • Any attempt to modify a transaction would require changing subsequent blocks, which becomes computationally infeasible due to the cryptographic properties of the blockchain.
  2. Security:
    • Immutability enhances the security of the public ledger.
    • Since previous transactions cannot be altered, the historical record remains intact, preventing fraudulent activities such as double-spending or retroactive modifications.
  3. Auditable Trail:
    • The immutability of public ledgers provides an auditable trail of transactions.
    • This trail is useful for conducting investigations, resolving disputes, or tracing the origin and movement of assets, providing a reliable and tamper-proof source of information.
  4. Consensus Maintenance:
    • Immutability plays a crucial role in maintaining the consensus among participants in the network.
    • Once a transaction is added to the blockchain, it is considered a permanent and agreed-upon part of the ledger, ensuring that all nodes reach consensus on the state of the blockchain.

Role of miners in maintaining the integrity of public ledgers:

Miners play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of public ledgers in blockchain networks, especially in proof-of-work (PoW) based systems like Bitcoin. Their primary responsibilities include transaction validation, block creation, and consensus enforcement.

Here’s an overview of the role of miners:

  1. Transaction Validation:
    • Miners validate and verify transactions by ensuring that they adhere to the predefined rules and protocols of the blockchain network.
    • They check for transaction authenticity, format, digital signatures, and other criteria specified by the consensus algorithm.
    • This validation process ensures that only valid transactions are included in the blocks.
  2. Block Creation:
    • Miners group validated transactions into blocks.
    • They compete with each other to solve complex mathematical puzzles or algorithms, typically through computationally intensive processes known as mining.
    • The first miner to solve the puzzle successfully adds the next block to the blockchain.
    • This block includes the validated transactions, a reference to the previous block, and a unique proof of work.
  3. Consensus Enforcement:
    • Miners play a crucial role in maintaining the consensus of the blockchain network.
    • The consensus algorithm, such as PoW, requires miners to invest computational resources and compete to solve puzzles.
    • This competition ensures that a majority of the mining power in the network agrees on the valid version of the blockchain.
    • Miners collectively determine the order of transactions, resolve conflicts, and prevent double-spending.
  4. Block Verification:
    • Once a miner successfully mines a block, they broadcast it to the network.
    • Other miners verify the validity of the newly mined block before accepting it as part of the blockchain.
    • Verification includes checking the proof of work, validating transactions, and ensuring consistency with the consensus rules.
    • This verification process helps maintain the integrity and security of the blockchain.
  5. Incentive Mechanism:
    • Miners are typically rewarded for their efforts and resources invested in maintaining the blockchain.
    • In Bitcoin, for example, miners are rewarded with newly minted bitcoins and transaction fees associated with the transactions included in the block they mine.
    • This incentive system encourages miners to participate honestly and invest in computational resources, which strengthens the network’s security.
  6. Security and Anti-Spam Measures:
    • Miners play a crucial role in securing the blockchain network against malicious activities.
    • Through the mining process, they contribute computational power to the network, making it increasingly difficult for attackers to alter past blocks or perform fraudulent actions.
    • Miners also act as a defense mechanism against spam and denial-of-service attacks by enforcing transaction validation and prioritization.