One of the key tenants of Bitcoin is its immutability. All in all, transactions recorded on the blockchain cannot be edited or changed. This creates an honest system that is openly verifiable.
But you may be asking, why does immutability even matter?
Don’t worry. In this article, I will be answering that question and much more. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Bitcoin’s immutability is important as it provides a database with permanent and unalterable records that are free from manipulation. This ensures data integrity whilst also improving the overall efficiency of business processes. For instance, immutability enhances auditing and the settlement of business disputes to name a few.
What is Bitcoin immutability?
First off, let’s define immutability. Simply put, immutability is the inability to change over time. In the case of Bitcoin, it utilizes blockchain technology which is essentially an immutable database.
This database stores a complete history of transactions since inception providing an honest system that is free from manipulation. Ultimately, past transaction information cannot be edited and is viewable by anyone.
4 reasons Bitcoin is immutable
1. Ensures data integrity
As transactions cannot be altered or deleted this creates a more robust dataset that is more resistant to manipulation.
The blockchain technology utilized by Bitcoin provides a history of all entries that are cryptographically sealed and distributed among a network of nodes.
Once a transaction is added to the blockchain it becomes a permanent record that is openly verifiable. This makes it extremely hard to manipulate or take down.
Producing accurate records that comply with industry regulations is a key requirement for auditing. Thanks to blockchain technology a complete history of transactions is automatically recorded that cannot be altered or changed.
This facilitates the auditing process by reducing the amount of time recording data whilst also limiting the time spent validating. Not to mention, human intervention is reduced, and therefore so is the number of errors involved in the process.
All in all, Bitcoins blockchain automatically logs a complete dataset that is unquestionable.
3. Combats malicious activity
One of the biggest problems of traditional databases is the ability to edit and manipulate data. This is evidenced by cooking the books. Simply put, financial logs are manipulated by businesses to inflate the company’s profit or decrease the perceived business costs.
That being said, this illegal practice and other manipulation tactics can be addressed by Bitcoin thanks to its immutability. This is because once logged, transactions cannot be changed. Ultimately, they are permanent records that are unalterable and therefore honest.
Blockchain technology also helps to track illicit funds by also providing an audit trail between suspicious wallets. Both the total Bitcoin sent and the corresponding wallet address can be tracked and verified with confidence due to their immutable nature.
4. Improves efficiency
All in all, immutability can improve overall business efficiency considerably. Less time is spent validating data and therefore more time can be invested elsewhere.
Not to mention, it improves the traceability of bugs, provides a historical record of business practices, and presents several new opportunities. From improved data analytics and the ability to restore databases.
Moreover, it helps settle business disputes as there is less effort involved in verifying the sources of both parties. With Bitcoin, the data is stored on a shared database that is free from tampering. In other words, it provides a completely transparent and open shared truth.
What are the disadvantages of Bitcoin’s immutability?
Overall, immutability is a double-edged sword. Although it provides a permanent record that ensures trust, this also means that any unwanted information recorded is irreversible.
Not only that, but Bitcoin’s immutability is not 100% guaranteed. Ultimately, transactions can be altered if the network underwent a 51% attack. This term refers to bad actors gaining 51% of the hashing and validating the power of the blockchain.
This allows them to change the transaction log as they have the majority of voting power and therefore have consensus over the network.
If you want to view this video in a more visual format then please check out my video below:
As you can see, Bitcoin’s immutability is a marked improvement over traditional files and databases. From its ability to ensure data integrity to combatting malicious activity, there are several notable advantages.
Hopefully, as time progresses people will recognize this novel technology and adoption will continue to increase. I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it.
Want to learn about Bitcoin open interest? Click here to read my previous article.