Why blockchain technology isn't just a fad

Jim Scott, director of enterprise strategy and architecture at MapR, explains how the blockchain works and why the tech will power countless startups.

The blockchain might be one of the hottest technologies in business today, but is it a fad? TechRepublic met with Jim Scott, the director of enterprise strategy and architecture at MapR to discuss some of the blockchain basics, and to help decipher if blockchain's for real or just for now.

It's for real, Scott says. While there is a ton of hype around it, there's also a misunderstanding of what is actually is. "The misunderstanding I believe is under the core piece of blockchain, which is really a shared distributed ledger. The concept of a ledger has existed for, well, ever since accounting was created, as far as I can tell," he said.

The blockchain has brought the concept of "irrevocable proof" and the ability to prove that something occurred, when it exactly occurred. "It's a proof of auditing that can be put in place to show that this is history. This is fact. There is no debating this. There is no cheating the system," he said. No one is able to come into the ledger and add something in the middle of the chain—or else it would be broken.

"When you put it in that perspective, there's tremendous value in every company that has any interest in regulatory oversight," he said.

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Image: iStock/LeoWolfert

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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