A public ledger in the context of cryptocurrencies is a decentralized database that records all transactions and balances in a particular blockchain network. This ledger is shared and maintained by all the participants in the network, and its purpose is to ensure transparency and prevent fraud by making all transactions visible to anyone in the network.
In a public ledger system, every transaction made on the network is validated and recorded by a network of computers, called nodes. The nodes work together to ensure that the ledger is always up to date and accurate, and that no single entity has the power to manipulate it.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use public ledgers to keep track of their transactions. Anyone can view the public ledger to see the transaction history and account balances of any address on the network. However, the identities of the parties involved in these transactions are usually anonymous, as cryptocurrency transactions are often pseudonymous, meaning that the users’ real identities are not tied to their wallet addresses.