CLEVELAND, Ohio – If you’ve heard about blockchain, it’s probably because you’ve heard about Bitcoin. Blockchain shot into the public consciousness last year as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum skyrocketed in value.

Blockchain is the underpinning of cryptocurrencies, but there’s more to the technology than that. In the near future, it could be used to automate government records, track trillions of dollars in shipped goods and allow a patient record to be accessed from any hospital.

Companies like IBM are funneling money into exploring blockchain, universities are dedicating departments to it and states are passing legislation to try and jump-start its development. Cryptocurrencies have fallen off in value as the 2017 hype faded.

But setting them aside, here’s what blockchain is, what it can do and how people are using it right now. (Video credit:  IBM Think Academy, Youtube) Envisioning the future of blockchain requires understanding how the technology works.

On its simplest level, blockchain is a constantly growing list of records linked to each other online. These records can be accessed, and the list can be added to, by anyone granted access to the list. Read more from…

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