Blockchains are not difficult to understand. Blockchains matter a lot because they have evolved to be more than just a computer programming code. There are different types of blockchain, and there are different types of blockchain applications.
To start off, Blockchains are the data structure which helps create a digital ledger and the data in this ledger is shared between independent parties in a network called nodes.
A block typically consists of a list of transactions that are recorded over a period of time. Each transaction is given a value. The value is used to interpret what the data is about.
The Chain or the chaining of the transactions happen by way of the hash value. The trust factor in the blockchain technology comes from this hashing. The hash is as unique as a fingerprint, and it locks the data by order and time and once approved by the nodes, it is immutable. This is a one-way function; therefore it cannot be decrypted.
The network is the node that consists of a detailed record of the transactions that have been ever recorded in the blockchain. The nodes are expensive and are operated by many people. Anyone can become a node. Operating a node is expensive and time-consuming. The incentive for node operators is payment in cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology is the underlying protocol of all cryptocurrency networks.