And what does that mean in real life?
1. Blockchains have particularly strong potential to change the financial industry. As a result, research in this area is reaching fever pitch, since no-one wants to miss the boat and find themselves redundant overnight. America’s leading stock exchange, Nasdaq, is already experimenting with blockchain technology to manage bonds.
2. A blockchain-based music provider could take the form of a public, decentralised music store which would no longer need record deals, leaving artists to manage the rights to their own music and set out the conditions for using it. This would dramatically change the relationship between fans and artists. Fans could actively support artists and distribution of their music, and directly participate in their idols’ success.
3. Taking fresh meat as an example, a blockchain could be used to document every stage of a product’s journey from slaughter and processing to going on sale – tracking the data transparently and without risk of falsification.
4. A blockchain electoral system would not only be tamper-proof, but also anonymous and secure. It would enable voters to cast their ballot from home without having to go to polling stations. And there would be no risk of vote-counting errors.
5. At the end of 2014, Estonia introduced its e-residency programme that permits non-Estonians who have an internet connection to register in the country and start and run a business in the EU without the need to be physically present. Honduras is looking to set up a blockchain database for land rights to provide additional security for mortgages, contracts and resource rights.