IT and business leaders can benefit from learning what blockchain means to their organizations and explaining the benefits, and drawbacks
Some are calling blockchain the next Internet, saying that it holds the promise to disrupt (and hopefully improve) our lives in ways we can’t even imagine. While there’s a healthy dose of hype fueling that statement, there’s also enough potential to merit giving blockchain a closer look.
Blockchain is digital ledger technology developed in 2008 that underpins Bitcoin, although its uses go far beyond cryptocurrency. The name describes how this database of transactions works. Each cell is a timestamped “block” that connects to the cell before it, creating a chain of blocks that can’t be edited or deleted. A blockchain can be public or private and does not store any type of data. Instead it certifies the existence of a specific piece of information – a health record, a vote, a loan agreement, or a digital identity, for example. The technology is revolutionary because it allows, for the first time, a digital asset to be securely transferred from one party to another in near real time, without the need for a third-party intermediary.