Demystifying Blockchain: The Technology and Its Providers

Blockcahin, the technology behind bitcoin, is one of the most talked about and intriguing technologies of the moment. This emerging is doing to transaction what the internet did to information, and has the potential to disrupt many industries and businesses. It provides transaction consensus, provenance, immutability, and finanlity in a so-called decentralized economy and society.

Connectivity has produced a "digital mesh" - a vast network of people, devices, content, and services. Organizations need new business models and processes to address the challenges that arise in a world that is increasingly connected.

Blockchain is a distributed replicated peer-to-peer network that stores an immutable record of data "blocks" (or ledgers) over time and allows multiple parties to transact without a centralized intermediary. This network has been touted as the foundation of the Internet of Value and the next big innovative technology. It disrupts the traditional concepts of trust, ownership, and trade and, consequently, internet and business transactions.

Like cloud computing, blockchain can be public, private, or permissioned - a type of private blockchain where anonymous or named authorized participants verify transactions. This report focuses on permissioned distributed ledger technologies. Typically, these are modified versions of open-source blockchain projects (e.g., Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric) that stem from related industry consortiums.

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