Blockchain: What IS it and how can YOU use it? Blockchain is simply a digital ledger of transactions, duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.

Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Blockchain is most commonly associated with Bitcoin, the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency, but it also has many other potentials uses besides financial transactions.

For example, blocks store information about transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase from Amazon. (NOTE: This Amazon example is for illustrative purchases; Amazon sales are not recorded on a blockchain.)

Each block stores a unique code called a “hash” that allows us to tell it apart from every other block. Let’s say you made your splurge purchase on Amazon, but while it’s in transit, you decide you just can’t resist and need a second one. Even though the details of your new transaction would look nearly identical to your earlier purchase, we can still tell the blocks are apart because of their unique codes.

When your computer finishes processing the block, you move on to the next one. A blockchain is like a chain of blocks that contain information. The “chain” part comes from each block being connected to the block before and after it — so as more blocks are added to the chain, it becomes longer and more difficult to tamper with. In fact, tampering with any individual block would.

Blockchain is still a new and emerging technology, but what it has the potential to do—and possibly disrupt in numerous industries—is worth keeping an eye on. Whether you’re running a business or thinking of getting into the world of online advertising, blockchain could be something that you want to familiarize yourself with.

ePATH is investing to create a capability in blockchain through their network of partners who are pioneered in it.


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