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Unique insights for you on gold, economics, public service, business, and coins. Could blockchain be the missing link in electronic voting? Blockchain and business: Looking beyond the hype Large parts of the enterprise may well get retooled using blockchain technology, and new blockchain-based business models may emerge. But don’t expect this to happen overnight. Counts”:true,”title”:”Blockchain and business: Looking beyond the hype”,”description”:”Large parts of the enterprise may well get retooled using blockchain technology, and new blockchain-based business models may emerge.

0027t expect this to happen overnight. At heart, a blockchain is a special kind of database in which ‘blocks’ of sequential and immutable data pertaining to virtual or physical assets are linked via cryptographic hashes and distributed as an ever-growing ‘chain’ among multiple peer-to-peer ‘nodes’. A blockchain is therefore a cryptographically secure distributed ledger in which each node has a verified, up-to-date and immutable history of all transactions that have ever taken place among participants that do not necessarily need to trust one another. Validated transactions cannot be altered or tampered with, and can only be reversed by a subsequent transaction.

The latter can be further divided into ‘private’ and ‘community’ blockchain networks — a single enterprise versus a group of companies involved in a particular business process, for example. Ethereum is the leading example of a smart contract-based blockchain system. As a distributed ledger, blockchain can be used to record any transaction, and keep track of any asset and associated payments. Compared to traditional business processes, blockchain can deliver time and cost savings, along with better security — especially in a permissioned network. But before we go any further, let’s consider the general circumstances in which blockchain technology is appropriate.