Blockchain – or distributed ledger technology – is most commonly known for being the technological and intellectual basis of the crypto currency ‘bitcoin’, but it has many other applications as well. ‘Blocks’ on a ‘chain’ are used to store information securely via a peer to peer network. Each block contains identifiers from the blocks that precede it, making the chain difficult to modify or hack, but more importantly, making unsanctioned modifications very hard to conceal. Because the ledger is distributed, living on all machines in the network, no one company or person ‘owns’ the data stored in it. For this reason, blockchain is being studied for its ability to guarantee visibility into multi-enterprise contracts and extended supply chain transactions.
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