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What Is Blockchain? by Evan Karnoupakis, Sir John Hargrave

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What Is Blockchain?

“What is blockchain?” Ask 50 technology leaders this question, and you’ll probably get 50 different answers. We created this report for business technology leaders who need to understand—and explain to their colleagues—this groundbreaking technology. Packed with user-friendly analogies and real-life examples, this brief report will give you the knowledge to talk confidently about how blockchain can benefit your business.

The Simple Definition

Blockchain is the Internet of Money.1

If we take a broad definition of money to include not just cash, but anything of value—stocks and bonds, gold and silver, frequent flyer miles, Starbucks rewards points—blockchain is the Internet of Money.

Just as today’s internet let us freely share information, blockchain lets us freely share value.

Think about how the internet has revolutionized information: the sum total of human knowledge is now accessible from a device that fits in your pocket! Any fact, available at anytime, anywhere in the world. We are living in the Information Age, an explosion of internet-fueled knowledge that will out-Renaissance the Renaissance.

But the internet was only Act 1. Blockchain is Act 2, allowing money to be shared as easily as sending email. In fact, we can look upon the past 50 years as an evolution from paper to digital technologies, as depicted in Figure 1.

Paper mail moving to email  paper maps moving to Google maps  paper money moving to digital money.
Figure 1. Paper mail moving to ...

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