“To start, suspend everything that you’ve heard or read on the subject of cryptocurrencies and bitcoins. By this stage, everyone has had enough exposure to those topics to have been at least partially confused, and a lot has gotten lost in translation. The simplest way to think about what this technology is all about is actually very unexciting. And that is, a new, clever form of database architecture.
You all know what databases are, you use them in your different businesses extensively. The thing about databases is they’re siloed and they’re generally centralized, and they’re owned and managed by someone who has unilateral editorial rights.
So when multiple parties to a common transaction interact, they are inclined to keep their own separate records of their respective piece of a joint transaction, and that leads to tremendous inefficiencies. An enormous amount of time, particularly but not limited to financial services, is spent reconciling the differences between records kept in distinct databases that ultimately refer to the same transaction between two parties.
Blockchain technology, or distributed ledger technology, is just a way of using the modern sciences of encryption to enable entities to share a common infrastructure for database retention.”
via WSJ http://ow.ly/zVZe301DuQp