Not Just Bitcoin: Why The Blockchain Is A Seductive Technology To Many Industries

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Written by NAOMI LACHANCE

May 4, 2016

Original article on NPR.com

If you’ve ever run a business, whether it’s an ice cream shop or a Fortune 500 company, then you’ve probably kept a ledger. It’s nothing fancy, just a list of transactions. It’s also at the root of a transformative technology that institutions including the U.K. government, major banks and the state of Delaware are looking to leverage: the blockchain.

When Australian businessman Craig Wright claimed this week to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of bitcoin, he called attention once again to this high-profile cryptocurrency. But more and more financial technology experts agree: It’s the blockchain technology underlying bitcoin that has even greater potential to change how we make transactions online.

Imagine, for a moment, a global, online ledger, or network of ledgers, listing every single transaction in the world. It’s verified immediately by other people using the system, which protects people’s privacy, but is transparent enough to allow for oversight from anyone. No one group regulates it, so it’s neutral and accessible to anyone with a computer. That is the world that visionaries of the blockchain foresee.

“In three years, no one is going to be saying blockchain, but everyone is going to be using the blockchain,” Adam Draper, chief executive of Boost VC, tells American Banker. “I don’t say I’m going to TCP/IP you — I say I’m going to text you.”

 

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