A blockchain’s state is its formal status at a given point in time, including what information it contains and who is participating in it.
The state of a blockchain is a data structure that holds the status of users in the network, such as the UTXO set in Bitcoin or all of the accounts and balances in Ethereum. All distributed ledgers need a shared state to ensure all participants are working from the same set of information.
To illustrate, imagine that you are collaborating with a colleague remotely on a shared digital document. In order to collaborate together effectively, you will both need to know for certain that you are each looking at the same document, which includes the same information, and that when one of you makes a change to the content it will be reflected on the other’s copy of the document. In a similar manner, blockchains rely on holding a shared state of being in order to ensure that all participants are managing the same information in their collective, distributed ledger.
The state of a blockchain is determined through a consensus method, or algorithm used by blockchain network participants to come to agreement on what information will be permanently stored in the blockchain. Once all participants have reached consensus, the agreed upon form of the blockchain becomes the new state of the blockchain.
→ View more terminology.
Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 21 new chains effortlessly.
We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 33 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.