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Blockchain and Business

Blockchain, a distributed ledger technology, has enormous potential for organizations—at least, those organizations that can figure out how best to use it. See what the buzz is all about surrounding this technology.

Lucas Mearian writes, “Blockchain sounds like a way to keep boats anchored, which isn’t a bad analogy, considering what the technology purports to do.

“While some IT experts herald it as a groundbreaking way of creating a distributed, unchangeable record of transactions, others question the nascent technology’s usefulness in the enterprise, which has traditionally relied on centrally administered databases to secure digital records.

“Even so, companies are moving fast to try and figure out how they can use it to save time and money. And IT vendors are responding to customers calls for information, with some already looking to include it as part of their services.

“What is blockchain? First and foremost, Blockchain is a public electronic ledger—similar to a relational database—that can be openly shared among disparate users and that creates an unchangeable record of their transactions, each one time-stamped and linked to the previous one.

“Each digital record or transaction in the thread is called a block (hence the name), and it allows either an open or controlled set of users to participate in the electronic ledger. Each block is linked to a specific participant.

“Blockchain can only be updated by consensus between participants in the system, and when new data is entered, it can never be erased. The blockchain contains a true and verifiable record of each and every transaction ever made in the system.”

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