There’s been a lot of talk about blockchain recently. It’s the technology that runs Bitcoin. It can be used to create smart contracts. It’s going to be the future of security on the web. But what is this brave new technology?
It’s actually not really new at all. At its heart, it’s just a database – but one that can now be widely distributed and accessed thanks to the vast size of the internet. That said, the technology offers many new possibilities, especially in law. Besides forming new kinds of contracts, blockchain can be used to track inventory, handle real estate transactions, and more.
If you’re looking for a quick overview about blockchain, AALL Spectrum recently published an article I wrote about the basics (there’s even a short comic). I spoke about blockchain at CALI this summer (here are the slides). Dan Blackaby and I will also host an AALL webinar about blockchain for law librarians on November 16.
If you want to try creating your own basic blockchain, this site features a short demo video and a blockchain sandbox.