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Gerri asked: “What is blockchain technologies and what are its uses today and in the future?”
Gerri, Blockchain is a ledger technology. It doesn’t sound that revolutionary, right?
What makes Blockchain different is that it’s decentralized, secure, and immutable.
That matters because everyone who needs to be involved in this ledger is seeing the same information, there aren’t two versions that need to eventually be reconciled. The information is public and visible to everyone involved, the people involved are credentialed so, when they add data, that data is stamped as having been added by them and located at a specific place in the chain, and it cannot be deleted.
All of that makes both errors from running multiple sets of data and fraud less likely to happen.
Today, the most famous use of Blockchain is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is built over a public Blockchain network and each transaction is logged, but the network is anonymized, so no one knows who is involved in the transaction.
There are plenty of other industries that either are using it or could very soon, for example, any industry that requires trade to be fully traceable. That can mean the diamond industry, to keep blood diamonds out of the market, the fair trade industry to ensure that fair trade products were actually fairly traded, or even food to ensure that outbreaks of foodborne illnesses can be traced back to the source and stopped as quickly as possible.
By all accounts, Blockchain should be a revolutionary technology for many, many industries. About 15% of banks are even expected to have adopted it in some way by the end of 2017.
As a consumer, you probably won’t notice it too much unless you look for how certain peer to peer products like Bitcoin work, it’s background technology, but it’s expected to be revolutionary for the economy.