There is no doubt you have heard terms in the news like Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Blockchain and understood at a minimum that economic value is changing hands in a potentially very different way than the conventional methods of payments we’re all used to. Well, there is excitement, opportunity and plenty of confusion to go around. We intend to assuage some of that by separating the signal from the noise.
It All Begins with the Blockchain
The blockchain, simply put, is a sophisticated data structure that records the entire history of exchanges of some asset and is self-contained – the asset knows everywhere it’s been. As a silly example, a dollar bill that can tell you its history – what it was exchanged for along the way, like:
1) Issued to Bank X by the Federal Reserve
2) Provided to retailer Y as change
3) Given to John Doe as change for an ice cream cone
4) Lost by John Doe in a bet with his son on a baseball game.
This concept can be abstracted in a variety of ways.
Since a blockchain is essentially self-aware, a collection of blockchain entities can be created to form use cases like an entire alternative currency. This is how we wind up with currencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, etc. There’s an alphabet soup of currencies that have been created with the blockchain and can then be exchanged among asset holders and valued against other assets like exchanging Bitcoin against US Dollars. A number of these have been created but have limited use for businesses in exchanging value to date. Selling widgets for X Bitcoin is not a winning strategy…yet.
But, The Distributed Ledger
While the Alternative Currency uses of Blockchain have soaked up all the notoriety in the press, the most interesting use of the Blockchain in business is its ability to form a “distributed ledger.” Imagine being able to have an entire history of value exchanged with a single client/customer contained in a blockchain that is immutable, always available and easily accessible in a variety of your business applications. Think of it as a self-contained, single version of the truth! That’s why large providers like IBM are ignoring the cryptocurrency fad and instead betting BIG on the implications for businesses in distributed, self-contained ledgers.
We’re in the early days of this capability, but when trusted providers come to you with blockchain applications, it’s worth listening.
For more answers regarding Blockchain and its impact on your business, contact us today at (845) 735-3555 or visit our website at www.superiortechnology.com.
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