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The evolution of blockchain

A quick primer on what blockchain is, and how it will be used in the future.

With the recent explosion of media coverage on digital currencies you would think that information about blockchain would be everywhere. Surprisingly enough, it isn’t. And the reason for this is simple: While all digital currencies are based on blockchains, blockchain is more than just a digital currency.

Conversations with people new to the technology tend to go like this:

“What exactly is Bitcoin?”

“It’s a cryptocurrency.”

“What is cryptocurrency?”

“It’s a digital currency generated via a blockchain.”

“What is blockchain?”

And that is where the lesson really begins.

Raphael Davison, worldwide director for blockchain for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, provides an analogy-based explanation of what blockchain is, how it impacts transactions, and what the future holds for businesses implementing blockchain technology.

He quotes technology pioneer Marc Andreessen, who sums up the view many hold on the importance of blockchain to the future of business: “The blockchain's distributed consensus model is the most important invention since the Internet itself.” 

Davison explains how blockchain will be an enabling technology as well as how businesses will be able to embrace it. He separates the concept of blockchains from the common perception that they are useful only as the enabler of digital currencies, and makes it clear how they will be used by business in the future.

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