Is it something you buy from a jeweler? Your new favorite SoundCloud rapper? Or one of the most important trends in internet technology since social media?
If you guessed the last one, you’d be correct. (If you guessed one of the others, keep reading.)
Put simply, blockchain* is a data structure that keeps digital transaction records — called blocks — which are linked and secured using cryptography.
The data is shared simultaneously across thousands or millions of computers, with no central data storage, making the system difficult to corrupt.
Developed as the bookkeeping infrastructure for Bitcoin (which is a whole ’nother blog post), blockchain is expected to have uses far beyond secure banking and payment processing.
Some call it a “big spreadsheet in the sky” or “the cloud for record keeping.”
Not only does blockchain technology allow information to be stored and distributed, but it also makes it more difficult for data to be copied or manipulated.