Understanding How Is A Transaction Verified On A Cryptocurrency Network?
8 Dec 2023 by Harry Newman 6 min read
Understanding How Is A Transaction Verified On A Cryptocurrency Network?

Cryptocurrencies have changed the way we think about money and transactions.

At the core of this is the verification of transactions on a blockchain network, this is a fundamental process that is required to ensure the functionality and security of digital currencies

We'll examine the pivotal roles played by miners and nodes, and the underlying technologies that facilitate this process. 

Providing you with an answer to the question: how is a transaction verified on a cryptocurrency network?


How is a Transaction Verified on a Cryptocurrency Network

To understand ‘how is a transaction is verified on a cryptocurrency network’, it's essential to first know what a cryptocurrency transaction entails. 

In the realm of cryptocurrencies, a transaction refers to the transfer of digital assets from one wallet to another. 

This process significantly differs from traditional financial transactions, primarily due to its decentralised nature and the reliance on cryptography for enhanced security.

A cryptocurrency transaction typically begins with the user's decision to transfer a certain amount of digital currency. 

The key components of this transaction include:

  • The user initiates a transaction with the intention to transfer a specific amount of cryptocurrency.

  • Details of the transaction, such as the amount of cryptocurrency to be sent, are specified.

  • The digital addresses of both the sender and receiver are integral to the transaction. These addresses function similarly to account numbers in traditional banking, but are designed for use in the decentralised and encrypted environment of the blockchain.

  • Once the transaction details are set, this information is transmitted to the blockchain network for processing. The network, comprising of numerous nodes, then works to verify and record the transaction on the blockchain.

This process marks a significant departure from conventional financial systems. 

In traditional banking, transactions are processed and validated by central authorities like banks. 

Cryptocurrency transactions are validated by a decentralised network of nodes, ensuring security and transparency without the need for a central overseeing authority. 

This decentralised approach is a defining characteristic of cryptocurrency transactions, reflecting the innovative nature of blockchain technology.


The Role of Blockchain Technology 

Nodes are central to blockchain networks and play a crucial role in the processing of transactions. 

Each block within a blockchain holds a series of transactions. 

When a block is filled to its capacity and subsequently validated, it is permanently added to the blockchain. 

This addition forms a secure and immutable record of all the transactions contained within that block.

Transactions that are yet to be processed are stored in an area known as the Mempool. Here, they wait to be picked up by network participants for validation.

On blockchain networks that utilise PoW, miners select transactions from the Mempool. They use computational power to solve complex cryptographic puzzles, validating transactions and adding them to a new block.

In PoS and other consensus models, validators perform a similar role to miners in PoW. However, instead of solving cryptographic puzzles, validators are chosen based on various factors like the amount of cryptocurrency they hold and are willing to 'stake' as collateral.

These consensus mechanisms are fundamental to verifying the legitimacy and security of transactions on the blockchain. 

Once a transaction has been validated and added to a block on the blockchain, it becomes part of a transparent and immutable ledger.

All transactions recorded on the blockchain are publicly accessible. Anyone can view these transactions, ensuring a high level of transparency in the network.

After a transaction is recorded on the blockchain, altering it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

This immutability safeguards against fraud and other forms of malpractice, thereby maintaining the integrity of the transaction history.

The combined effect of transparency and immutability creates trust and reliability in blockchain transactions, making them a cornerstone of the security and integrity that blockchain technology offers.


How To View Transactions 

Blockchain explorers are invaluable online tools that provide users the ability to investigate and navigate the transaction history of a blockchain. 

Knowing how is a transaction verified on a cryptocurrency network requires the use of blockchain explorers.

Functioning much like search engines, these explorers enable users to input a cryptocurrency address and subsequently access the entire transaction history associated with that address. 

The choice of a blockchain explorer typically depends on the specific blockchain network being used. 

Different blockchains have their dedicated explorers, each tailored to the unique structure and features of that particular network. 

Here are examples of blockchain explorers for two of the most prominent blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum:

  • Etherscan is the primary blockchain explorer for the Ethereum network. It allows users to delve into the Ethereum blockchain, providing detailed information about transactions, addresses, tokens, current prices, and other activities occurring on Ethereum.

  • Blockchain.com offers an explorer service for the Bitcoin network. Through this platform, users can explore and track transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Finding the right block explorer is straightforward. 

You can simply use a search engine like Google and enter the name of the cryptocurrency or blockchain, followed by "block explorer." This search will yield a list of the most popular blockchain explorers available for that particular blockchain.

In addition to these, there are projects like Arkham, which offer advanced features for exploring blockchain transactions. 

Arkham enables users to view transaction histories as well as buying/selling data related to any blockchain wallet address. 

This can be done anonymously and through smart contracts, adding an extra layer of functionality and privacy for users who wish to track wallet activities without revealing their identity. 

Such tools enhance the transparency of blockchain networks while still respecting user privacy, showcasing the diverse applications of blockchain technology in the realm of digital transactions.


Final Thoughts 

Knowing how is a transaction verified on a cryptocurrency network requires understanding a multi-step process involving validators and nodes. 

These key players work collaboratively to authenticate transactions and subsequently add them to the blockchain. This verification process ensures the integrity and security of the network.

In most blockchain networks, transactions are prioritised based on their size or associated fees. 

Generally, larger transactions, or those with higher fees, are given priority over smaller ones. This prioritisation can lead to varying transaction processing times, with some transactions being confirmed more quickly than others.

To address the challenges of scalability and efficiency in processing transactions, many blockchain networks are turning to Layer 2 solutions. 

These solutions are designed to enhance the blockchain’s capacity to handle a higher volume of transactions more efficiently, without compromising the security and decentralisation that are fundamental to blockchain technology. 

Understanding these aspects of transaction verification and the role of Layer 2 solutions provides a clearer picture of the complexities and innovations driving the functionality of cryptocurrency networks. These advancements are crucial in ensuring that blockchains can continue to provide secure, decentralised, and efficient platforms for digital transactions.


FAQ

Can blockchain transactions be reversed?

No, once a transaction has been broadcast to the network it is irreversible. This immutability is a strong characteristic of blockchain technology.


How is a transaction verified on a cryptocurrency network?

Nodes and validators play a crucial role in verifying transactions, ensuring the legitimacy of transactions and keeping a digital record of the blockchain. 


How can you view transactions on the blockchain?

You can view transactions using a blockchain explorer.


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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice.