If you’re just a tiny bit aware of blockchain, it’s probably thanks to Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer virtual currency introduced in January 2009 and rising sensationally, if erratically, in value ever since. (On November 25 a single bitcoin was worth US$8,770.) Bitcoin was made possible through blockchain technology, which, put as simply as possible, is a linked and cryptographically secured list of transactions.
Blockchain – also known as advanced digital ledger technology, or ADLT – makes obvious sense for currency. But it’s much more than the core component of a quirky monetary system with an enigmatic inventor. “Simply put,” The Economist explained in an October 31, 2015, article, “it is a machine for creating trust.” And that means blockchain’s potential for secure transactions of many kinds is seemingly limitless. In fact, “blockchain for X” is fast becoming the new “Uber for X.”