There’s no way you haven’t heard about blockchain.

You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin, but that’s not really what we’re focusing on here because trying to describe blockchain by only talking about Bitcoin is like trying to describe the entire internet, but only talking about email.

Like the internet, blockchain might just change everything.

Blockchain means that you don’t need to trust anyone anymore. At least not when it comes to keeping records.

We kind of take it for granted, but just to exist in society, you need to put your blind faith in a ton of different institutions. And as we’ve seen lately, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

For example, to take out a loan, you need to trust that a bank is going to trust a credit bureau with all your financial information, and then trust that the credit score they calculate using a secret formula is accurate.

Information Security

You need to trust that the system works and a lot of the time it doesn’t. Why are we so trusting with our public information? There’s gotta be a better way.

And blockchain is that better way.

Think of blockchain, like an open book of records and everyone has the same copy. Each entry in the book references the record before it making it obvious if any of them are changed after they’re entered.

What’s more, since everyone has the same book, they can see if one or more of the books has been tampered with or edited since they don’t match up exactly.

The technology behind this is a little complicated, but in short, each block of this chain takes in intentionally large amount of computing power to validate that it’s a legitimate block.

So what you’re left with is an extremely secure record that can’t be edited and everyone can see, and that’s gonna radically change quite a few industry for one obvious example.

Currency and Contracts

Blockchain means that you don’t need a bank to withdraw your currency.

A complete record of your account balance is easily accessible as is the record of the withdrawal. Nobody needs to vouch that the money is available or that you received it. It’s all recorded right there.

A slightly more complicated example involves blockchain systems in a contract, like say a lease for an apartment.

The blockchain record could have built in terms like a price per month in exchange for an access code to the apartment. As a landlord, you don’t need to worry that you won’t be paid every month.

And as a tenant, you don’t need to trust that your landlord will let you in the building.

A blockchain smart contract would facilitate both sides of the transaction, verifying that the actions are legitimate and leaving behind an immutable record, no more sending checks.

Think of how many other people and companies you need to trust when you’re conducting business or any kind of valuable transaction, like your vote.

New Verification

Imagine submitting a voter ID, a private passcode, and who you’re voting for into a public record. One that’s checked and tallied by a million other people.

At the same time, the parameters of the blockchain could verify that you’re eligible to vote. That you are who you say you are and record your vote in a public unalterable record but without identifying who you voted for a version of this was even implemented in Columbia as a mock test run. And it worked.

Companies are even using blockchain internally to verify that their supply lines are all working together. And in total transparency as each step in the line from manufacturing to distribution is linked together by a blockchain musicians can make sure they’re paid for every stream of a song resumes and work histories can be accessed at a glance. Your medical records can be implemented in a blockchain, allowing a doctor to see and share your history.

It can even be designed to spot drug interactions or to make sure prescriptions are written and filled. In short blockchain, cuts out a middleman you’d have to trust and allows faster, secure and transparent use of information. Also shows how that information is used. Thanks for watching. And don’t forget to like, and subscribe from where tech news, explainers and reviews on digital trends.