A blockchain is a digitally distributed, decentralized, public ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, a blockchain stores information electronically in a digital format. A key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is how the data is structured. A blockchain collects data in groups, or blocks, that hold sets of information. Blocks have certain storage capacities and, when filled, are closed and linked to the previously filled block, forming a chain of data known as the blockchain. All new information that follows that freshly added block is compiled into a newly formed block that will then be added to the chain once filled.
A database usually structures its data into tables, whereas a blockchain, like its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are strung together. This data structure inherently makes an irreversible time line of data when implemented in a decentralized nature. When a block is filled, it is set in stone and becomes a part of this time line. Each block in the chain is given an exact time stamp when it is added to the chain. Different types of information can be stored on a blockchain, but the most common use so far has been as a ledger for transactions. (source: Investopedia).
A top challenge for the industry has been opaque regulations. The Treasury Department proposed rules that would apply a banking regulation known the travel rule to transactions in cryptocurrency. The Treasury Department said banks and cryptocurrency trading platforms would have to collect, keep and pass on records of customer’s cyrptocurrency transactions and counterparties – including verification of their identities – for any transactions exceeding $3,000. The Treasury issued its proposed rules and sought comments from the public but has yet to complete the rules. (source: Dow Jones).