When most people hear the word blockchain, which refers to a type of decentralized ledger technology, they immediately connect the term with cryptocurrencies. However, it is important to keep in mind that bitcoin just happened to be one of blockchain’s earliest and most popular applications; most experts believe that the potential for other applications of blockchain technology is vast.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
In the most general sense, a blockchain is a system for recording information, although it is distinct from a typical database in the way it stores information; the information in a blockchain is stored in such a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.
Blockchain technology promises a secure, peer-to-peer mechanism for verifying information. Each "block" in a blockchain contains a record of transactions in a decentralized ledger. Taken together, the blocks form a “chain” in a peer-to-peer network.
Applications for Blockchain Technology
This impressive technology provides the support necessary for the decentralized, anonymized tracking and transaction of digital currencies around the world. While blockchains allow for cryptocurrencies to function, their functionality has applications beyond cryptocurrency. For example, banking and fintech payment companies have already demonstrated a major interest in blockchain technology.
From insurance and real estate to crowdfunding and data management, the potential applications of blockchain technology are numerous, and it's likely that there will continue to be new ways of adapting this technology to the mainstream business world in the future.
However, there is one important use of blockchain technology that exists outside its more traditional business applications: Some of the world's emerging economies are benefiting from the integration of blockchain technology in various ways. In diverse countries such as India, Kenya, and East Africa, blockchain technology has found uses in banking and financial services, supply chains, agriculture, and in managing