Reading time: 5 minutes

Everyone seems to agree that blockchain technology, at least in theory, has the potential to transform the world. The first and the most well-known use of blockchain technology has been to exchange bitcoin. However, blockchain technology has come a long way since then. Today, start-ups are leveraging blockchain technology to revolutionise everything from borrowing money to storing health data. Some experts are so optimistic about blockchain technology that they compare it to the advent of the internet in the 1990s. 

In this beginner’s guide to blockchain technology for business, we look at some of the basics of blockchain technology and its current status in Australia.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology.

Imagine an online platform that allows transactions to occur and records those transactions on a digital ledger. This digital ledger is distributed to every computer that has access to the platform, thereby creating a common record of all the transactions occurring on the platform. A majority of computers connected to the platform must verify and approve any transaction before that transaction is approved, and only approved transactions are recorded on the digital ledger.

Put simply, this is what blockchain technology does. It enables an online database to exist where peer-to-peer authentication approves and verifies transactions, and each approved transaction is recorded on a digital and distributed ledger.

Public vs. Private Blockchain

Blockchains platforms are either public or private.

Public, or permissionless, blockchains are platforms that are completely open and decentralised. Therefore, any person can access and participate in these blockchains. There is no central entity that has the power to control the membership or the actions of the participants in that platform. Blockchains platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum are examples of public blockchains. 

Private, or permissioned, blockchains have all the features of a public blockchain, except a central entity controls who can transact and participate in the blockchain and how participants act. Many companies wanting to utilise blockchain technology are also increasingly opting to use a private blockchain to have privacy and set rules that participants of the platform must adhere to.

LegalVision NewLaw White Paper

An essential read for any lawyer interested in the future of law, this white paper covers a breadth of NewLaw topics including legal tech trends, benefits of legal process design, the future of legal outsourcing, case studies on smart contracts and key developments for NewLaw players.

This report will help lawyers and law firms navigate the NewLaw landscape.

Download Now

The Technical Make-Up of Blockchain

Blockchain technology gets its name from its technical make-up – ‘blocks’ connected by cryptographic ‘chains’. Each block in a blockchain platform contains:

  • data stored on the blockchain, which will vary depending on the type of blockchain – in the case of bitcoin, it would be the list of transactions involving the transfer of bitcoins;
  • a cryptographic fingerprint unique to the block, known as a hash; and
  • the hash of the previous block. The hash of the previous block on the subsequent block is the ‘chain’ that connects the blocks in the blockchain.

Nodes are the computers connected to the blockchain platform, which has a copy of the digital ledger and verifies the transaction. ‘Mining’ is the process of verifying transactions on a blockchain.

A protocol is the rules underpinning how a blockchain platform will function.

Key Features of Blockchain Technology

The key features of blockchain technology are:


Each transaction on a blockchain platform is verified and approved by peer-to-peer authentication performed by nodes. The consensus required to approve each transaction prevents fraudulent transactions from being approved. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of the nodes to be tricked into approving a fraudulent transaction.


The peer-to-peer authentication where the entire network verifies each transaction removes the need for a centralised authority to verify and approve transactions. This enables two parties who do not trust each other to transact without needing a third party to oversee the transaction.


Blockchain technology does not allow data or transactions stored in the blockchain to be changed or tampered with. This ensures the integrity of the records on the blockchain.


Blockchain technology provides transparency by making the digital ledger with the record of all the transactions executed on that blockchain to be available.

What is Next for Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain has the potential to impact almost every industry. At present, the financial sector primarily uses blockchain technology. However, other areas like health, energy, real estate, logistics and supply chain management can benefit from this technology.

While businesses have welcomed blockchain technology, regulators around the world are still playing catch up. The lack of clarity in regulation often delays the adoption of blockchain-based solutions. This is because it is unclear what is legal and illegal in different jurisdictions. However, we can expect a more robust legal framework governing technologies like blockchain to come into force worldwide, including in Australia, in the coming years. 

Key Takeaways

Blockchain technology has moved from a theory to a mainstream technology in the last two decades. It has the potential to transform the world. Features of blockchain technology like consensus-based and decentralised peer-to-peer authentication, immutability and transparency offer the possibility to change how almost every industry functions today. If you have any questions about blockchain technology or how it can be implemented within your business, contact LegalVision’s Legal Transformation lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of blockchain platforms?

There are two types of blockchain platforms; public and private. For example, a private blockchain will have a central entity that can control how participants act. A public blockchain, however, will not.

How can blockchain impact my industry?

At the moment, blockchain technology features primarily in the financial sector. However, with more robust legal framework in development, blockchain may feature in many more industries in the future.


What to Consider When Buying a Tech or Online Business

Wednesday 13 April | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to get the best deal when buying a tech or online business. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Corporate Governance 101: Responsibilities for New Directors

Wednesday 27 April | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you are a new company director, join our free webinar to understand your legal compliance obligations. Register today.
Register Now

Rogue Directors and Business Divorces: How to Remove a Director

Thursday 28 April | 11:00 - 11:45am

Removing a board director is not simple. Join our free webinar to learn how to handle rogue directors. Register today.
Register Now

Employment Essentials for Tech Businesses

Thursday 5 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your tech business and your employees by understanding your employment legal obligations. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

How to Protect and Enforce Your Trade Mark

Wednesday 11 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your business’ brand from copycats and competitors. Register for this free webinar to learn how.
Register Now

How Franchisors Can Avoid Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Wednesday 18 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Ensure your franchise is not accused of misleading and deceptive conduct. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer