A distributed ledger is a database of information held and replicated independently by participants in a network called nodes. A blockchain is a specific subtype of a distributed ledger that provides a more secure distributed consensus.
It also called a shared ledger or referred to as distributed ledger technology. It can be a single ledger having layered permissions or consisting of multiple ledgers maintained by a distributed network of nodes. It is a consensus of shared, replicated and synchronized digital information geographically spread across multiple sites or institutions. Updates on a distributed ledger can be independently created and recorded, and are voted over to ensure a majority consensus is reached.
Depending on whether the network participants or nodes need permission to access and make changes to the ledger makes the distributed ledger public or private and permissioned or permissionless.
Distributed ledgers operate to organize data on a broad structure, blockchains operate much more specifically to organize data and update entries.
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Blockchain
World Bank Group
Distributed Ledger Technology: Implicationsof Blockchain for the Securities Industry
Regulatory Financial Industry Authority
- BlockchainA blockchain is an append-only digital ledger storing a set of time-ordered transactions grouped in blocks that are linked together using cryptographic hashes.
- CryptocurrencyA cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies.