As blockchain turns the corner on its tenth anniversary, the future of this and other distributed ledger technologies looks bright. Most commonly associated with the crypto-currency Bitcoin, blockchains are increasingly being explored for myriad uses in healthcare, supply chains, and logistics, and, particularly, finance.
“Blockchain has been the No. 1 search term on gartner.com since January 2017,” writes Gartner’s Kasey Panetta.
While blockchain is the most widely recognizable distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is just one of many available to companies and marketplaces that could benefit from a decentralized, secure, and immutable database of record. How they work is beyond the scope of this article but, suffice to say, that having access to a verified, unalterable, mutually-agreed-upon, single-version-of-the-truth is proving to be a really good idea.
“The ability to share verified and trusted data within an organization, or with an external network in real time, opens up opportunities for wholesale changes to business processes and business models,” writes Margaret Harrist, director of Content Strategy and Implementation at Oracle, in the Wall Street Journal. “Among the many potential blockchain applications are farm-to-table food tracking, real-time contractor licensing, real estate transfers and all types of financial transactions.”