When the world has gone corrupt, who can you trust? Blockchain is stepping up. The word might ring a bell for its connection with Bitcoin, but internet pioneer Brian Behlendorf is looking at this technology beyond its use in cryptocurrency.
Blockchain is an open ledger system where transactions are irreversibly recorded and immediately shared to a distributed network of witnesses (companies, agencies, individuals).
The beauty of this idea is in its decentralization—if no one person or institution holds power, then that power cannot be abused. The potential for this technology is enormous: it could significantly lower corruption and eliminate fraud in many industries like banking, freight, construction, and even trace the provenance of goods like diamonds.
“Blockchain technology allows us to build these same kind of systems but in a world where we don’t want to or we can’t trust central actors,” says Behlendorf. Here he describes how a blockchain system is being used to protect civilian land titles in developing nations, and demonstrates how blockchain could have prevented or severely lessened the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.
Brian Behlendorf is the executive director of Hyperledger; for more info, visit http://www.hyperledger.org.