Blockchain Durability and Robustness | Bitcoin & Ethereum

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In the series of interesting blockchain topics, the next in line is the “Durability and robustness of blockchain”. It is important to bring into a discussion about how durable and robust actually is a blockchain system. This is because we have learned and understood all the fundamentals of the blockchain well enough. From our learnings, we found out that blockchain is the most secure and incorruptible technology that exists today. But is it really so? This question leads us to this topic of the durability and robustness of blockchain. Here, we will learn about how durable and robust the blockchain system or technology is in reality.

Durability & Robustness of Blockchain

Before getting an in-depth understanding of how durable and robust is blockchain technology, let us learn their meanings first. Durability is the ability of something to withstand attacks or breaches and robustness is the strength of something. Now, we need to find out how well the blockchain system prevents itself from security breaches and attacks. Along with this, how strong and healthy it is. 

Ever since its advent in 2008, blockchain technology has gained immense popularity worldwide. Blockchain is widely used as an underlying technology for cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. Along with this, it also finds its use in banking, finance industry, supply chain management, healthcare industry, entertainment industry, aviation, and a few others. Keeping in mind blockchain’s demand and acceptability as a potential data storage and transacting technology it has to be secure, durable, and robust.

Blockchain ensures its durability and robustness by adapting different types of techniques and concepts. Concepts such as hashing, linking of blocks, distributed ledger system, and a consensus algorithm makes the blockchain secure, durable, and robust.

Factors contributing to the durability and robustness of blockchain

The aim behind making the blockchain durable and robust is to protect the data stored in it at all costs. Even after some technical glitch or a security breach, the contents on the blockchain should stay secure. So, the greater the durability of the blockchain, the greater is its ability to maintain the integrity of the data. If a blockchain is robust, then it is able to maintain the network and its nodes properly functioning.

To maintain a healthy functioning of the entire blockchain, all the nodes should be working properly carrying out unhindered transactions. Even if there is an attempt to breach the blockchain network, it should be easily detectable and difficult for the attacker to get through. This is what represents the robustness of a system. 

There are four main factors that make the blockchain durable and robust. Let us learn about them one by one. 

1. Hashing: The process of hashing encrypts the data in such a way that we cannot reverse the process. Hashing is said to be deterministic where there is only one output hash value for a single input value. This means that if someone tries to change the contents of a block (like transaction information), the hash value of that block will change. This will show abnormality in the blockchain because blocks are linked with each other. The hash of one block is used as the “previous block hash” in its successive block. 

Computing new hash values for the entire blockchain after making changes in it is next to impossible. This is because such computation will require humungous computational power from expensive hardware. Due to this, succeeding in a blockchain breach is a tough task and therefore nearly impossible. 

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2. Linking of blocks: Continuing on our previous point of hashing, linking of blockchain blocks helps maintain the durability, strength, and integrity of it. We know that a stack of verified transactions makes a mem pool. Multiple such mem pools then constitute a block. 

The root hash of all these transactions is taken and hashed. Now, as we said earlier, individual blocks in a blockchain are linked together, that is why it is called a block-chain (a chain of blocks). To create these links, the hash of the previous block is also included while computing the hash of the new block. In this way, they get linked together. 

Whenever someone tries to access and change the data or contents stored on a block, it will change the hash value of that block. Then the changed hash value will not match with the “previous hash value” of the next block. This will disrupt the hash value of the next block. This mismatch of hash values will continue along the entire chain resulting in its collapse. Therefore, it is not easy to make an unwanted change in the records stored in a blockchain that goes undetected. Such breaches are easily detected and eliminated by the participant nodes. 

3. Consensus: Another important contributing factor is the consensus system in the blockchain. A potential threat to blockchain’s durability and robustness is when there are forged transactions and identities on the network. This problem is solved by the consensus system.

The concept of consensus in blockchain ensures that every transaction is verified by all the users in a blockchain network. Also, every node in the network agrees upon a single version of the ledger that they all possess (as copies). If there is a false version (as a result of changed contents) in the network, then the nodes will reject it through consensus. Thus, the consensus protocol makes sure that every node has a legitimate and updated copy of the network. 

4. Distributed ledger and decentralization: Just as the consensus system ensures the robustness of the blockchain, the concept of distributed ledger helps enhance it. Blockchain is a decentralized system based on distributed ledger technology. In this system, every blockchain node has a copy of the digital ledger that keeps a record of all the transactions taking place on the network.  

By this arrangement, no one can intend to change or delete information regarding a transaction from the ledger. Because if they try to do so, other networks can tally it with their copy of the ledger and detect the fraud. That is why a consensus on the state of the distributed ledger is made after a new block is added in the blockchain. 


This brings our discussion on the “Durability and robustness of blockchain” to an end. Here, we discussed what is meant by durability and robustness with respect to blockchain. How is it significant for blockchain’s working and the factors contributing. We hope you were able to learn something of value from this. Stay tuned for more interesting lessons on Blockchain technology. 

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