Innovation

The future of blockchain: Which businesses are using it now, which industries will use it soon

Brett Koenig, of IT consulting firm HMB, talked with TechRepublic about the emergence of blockchain and a business tool, and its potential uses.

At the recent Code PaLOUsa conference in Louisville, HMB consultant Brett Koenig spoke with TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco Rayome about emerging uses for blockchain technology.

Read his comments below, or watch the video above.

Koenig: A blockchain is a shared ledger, distributed ledger. The best way to think about it, is a spreadsheet with each row has a reference to the row before it. So, some big companies that we've seen using it are Walmart, L.L.Bean, and Codec, are all using it, and then we've seen a lot of startups in the space with other companies coming along. And then actually Dubai's government is looking to implement a blockchain solution by about 2020.

So, Walmart's using blockchain to track their beef products across China. They're able to cut their tracking time down from weeks to just days, by being able to track the sources of where their beef was and who is handling it at what time.

SEE: How blockchain will disrupt business (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

A lot of people are interested to see what blockchain is all about. They heard about Bitcoin with the spike late last year, and where I see it going is really impacting the way that data is shared across organizations, in between organizations. I think the medical spaces are a really interesting space to look at with blockchain, and the different evolutions that we can see there as far as medical records, and being able to see a patient's entire medical history on the blockchain. Making that available to doctors is something that I'm really excited about and somewhere that I could see blockchain going.

The most important thing to know about blockchain for somebody to know is that right now it is not the next internet. We're still experimenting with where this technology can go, and everything that it can do, but there are a lot of really cool benefits of being on the blockchain, and having applications on the blockchain. But it is more than just a distributed database.

Also see

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Image: iStock/NicoElNino

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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