How Blockchain Works and Why It Matters

Nov 3, 2017 | 17:44 GMT

A pair of physical bitcoins, but the blockchain technology that powers the currency is far more important.

The underlying blockchain technology that anchors cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin could be far more useful than any currency itself.


True digital currencies were more common in science fiction than in reality until quite recently. The big stumbling block for electronic money that doesn't have a physical form is the issue of ownership. How can you truly possess something of intrinsic value that can be effectively copied and shared ad nauseam? In 2008, a paper published under a pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, introduced the world to the digital currency bitcoin. More important, though, was the underlying algorithm that made the cryptocurrency work. The technology that anchors bitcoin, known as the blockchain, was the truly revolutionary development. Commonly referred to as distributed ledger technology, blockchain is already considered to be a disruptive technology and will affect a number of different industries beyond the financial sector, including but not limited to shipping and logistics, aerospace and defense, retail, health care, and manufacturing....

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