WHAT IT IS
- Blockchain technology is most simply described as a new way to structure data.
- Blockchain technology is used to securely create tamper-proof histories of transactions, such as exchanges of money, products or information. The technology stores encrypted “blocks” of information that are less vulnerable to hackers.
- The database, or ledgers, created are updated in real time and can be accessed by multiple parties..
- Blockchain was first used as a system to support the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (the two are often confused as one in the same, but they are distinct from one another).
WHY IT MATTERS
Blockchain can be applied to a number of different economic and public sector applications, and some analysts say the technology will change the world economy. The technology also has the potential to reduce or eliminate errors and speed up transaction times.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- The technology is still in its infancy, but it provides the secure, paperless exchange of money and information.
- Companies are embracing the technology, but some analysts believe others may hesitate to adopt it due to the costs and risks associated with such a radical change.
- Software companies are working to make the technology faster to compete with traditional systems, which can handle transactions with far greater speed.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Governments and lawmakers likely need time to understand and adopt legislation to resolve liability and legal issues.
- For further reading on Blockchain, check out IBM’s Blockchain information.