Blockchain is being explored by a wider and wider audience everyday, and traditional centralized bodies like banks and governments are starting to take interest into what the tech can do for them. But there is a new term that is starting to crop up more frequently in the cryptocurrency space: distributed ledger technology (or DLT as most call it).

And somewhat ironically, it is precisely the bodies that Bitcoin and blockchain aim to subvert that seem to use it the most – banks, governments and large corporations. The Bank of England announced recently that it is looking to breathe new life into their Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, using both blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

These words are not interchangeable though, so in instances like this, it’s important that we appreciate their differences. Let’s get into it. That said, DLT is technologically decentralized and relies on similar principles of consensus to blockchain.

But, an instance where one body has control over that supposed decentralized network, by principle, isn’t decentralized – from an ideological point of view at least. A DLT can be considered a first step towards a blockchain, but importantly it won’t necessarily construct a chain of blocks.

Rather, the ledger in question will be stored across many servers, which then communicate to ensure the most accurate and up to date record of transactions is maintained. Some companies that are favouring DLT over a pure blockchain include Google’s, recent partnership with Digital Asset seeks to bring DLT tools to their cloud service customers. Volkswagen also labelled its collaboration with IOTA as an experiment in “distributed ledger technology. Read more from…

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