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On-Chain – Crypto Glossary:

Definition: On-chain refers to transactions and activities that occur directly within a blockchain network, where they are recorded, verified, and confirmed by miners or validators. These transactions become part of the official blockchain ledger, making them visible to all network participants.

Key Characteristics:

  1. Blockchain Integration: On-chain transactions are an integral part of the blockchain, and they involve the creation of new blocks that extend the chain’s history. These transactions are conducted within the blockchain’s native ecosystem.
  2. Validation and Authentication: For an on-chain transaction to be considered valid, it must undergo a verification and authentication process performed by miners or authenticators within the network. This consensus mechanism ensures the transaction’s legitimacy.
  3. Public Ledger: All on-chain transactions are reflected in the distributed ledger, making them accessible to every participant in the blockchain network. This transparency is a fundamental feature of blockchain technology.
  4. Confirmation and Updates: On-chain transactions often require a certain number of confirmations by miners to be considered finalized. The time it takes for an on-chain transaction to complete can vary depending on network congestion. Higher congestion may lead to delays in transaction confirmation.

Comparison with Off-Chain Transactions: On-chain transactions are distinct from off-chain transactions, which occur outside the blockchain. Off-chain transactions typically involve second-layer protocols and may offer advantages such as lower costs and faster confirmation times. Unlike on-chain transactions, off-chain transactions are executed through agreements that exist beyond the blockchain, often involving third-party confirmations.

Examples of On-Chain Transactions:

  • Cryptocurrency Transfers: When users send cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin or Ethereum) to one another, these transactions are considered on-chain. The details of these transfers are recorded on the blockchain.
  • Smart Contract Executions: Smart contracts, self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code, operate on the blockchain. When a smart contract executes predefined conditions, it does so on-chain.
  • Token Creation: When new tokens or assets are created on a blockchain, the process involves on-chain transactions to record the generation and distribution of these tokens.

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