Last UpdatedJune 11, 20187:42 AM EDT David Katz is on a mission to democratize material handling and waste management. Since co-founding The Plastic Bank in 2013 in Vancouver, he has been hard at work creating an ecosystem that attaches a value to plastics that make their way into the oceans and rivers around the world.

The key to helping him realize that vision is blockchain, a technology that is often misunderstood by the layperson. Many confuse it with cryptocurrency or assume blockchain opportunities are mainly targeted to the financial services and cybersecurity sectors.

But the possibilities for application developers are much more diverse. The power of blockchain is that it provides a single shared source of the truth that is immutable and can be shared.

This offers the ability to validate and authenticate transactions within seconds versus days or weeks, whether it’s tracking the distribution of goods from source to consumption, sharing medical histories or pinpointing the exact source of a food product, explains Manav Gupta, director and distinguished engineer, Cloud Native Competency at IBM Canada in Toronto. Blockchain can achieve a variety of things for developers and end users.

It can be used to create a large business network tying people and entities, provide the ability for parties to digitize and trade assets, and/or provide a single shared ledger on a distributed platform that can cross markets and sectors. In Katz’ case, blockchain is serving as a platform for the use and exchange of waste materials, which will put value into the hands of the poor. Read more from…

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