First, a recap. The blockchain is a “distributed ledger”, an online record of transactions that is shared and authenticated through a series of cryptographic steps. If that sounds dull, it isn’t. A trusted register has the potential to cut fraud by verifying who actually owns an asset, whether it be a wodge of digital currency or a plot of land. It dangles the promise of huge cost savings: why spend time and money reconciling lots of proprietary databases when a single public version can do the job? And because it can have instructions embedded within it, the blockchain opens the door to “smart contracts” that can be executed automatically without the need for pesky humans to get involved.

Source: Chain reaction

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