This article originally published Jan. 25, 2018.
Hacking and fraud have in some cases become more difficult to prevent and track as people have moved more of their lives online. But certain innovations, such as blockchain, show promise for cracking down on dishonest behavior, insecure transactions, contractual breaches and even unintended human and computer errors.
The technology that powers bitcoin can be difficult to comprehend. Blockchain is a digital ledger platform that verifies identities and transactions through a secure digital network of records. It’s especially secure because it generates multiple records stored in a decentralized manner.
In turn, blockchain empowers people to trade and transact more, because they can be sure who they’re trading with, as well as the origins of the thing they’re trading, dating back to its inception. They can even generate new things to securely trade, from their time to virtual cats.
Because blockchain is such an amorphous concept, read through the following use cases for a more tangible idea of what the technology can do -- or what people envision it will do in the near future.