Mingis on Tech: Blockchain explained

One of the buzziest topics in IT right now involves blockchain, the distributed ledger tech that underpins Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. But it can – and likely will – do much more than that.

Credit: Computerworld

It's the most disruptive technology since the arrival of the Internet.

Or maybe it's the next Linux, an open-source technology that offers great promise, but somehow never seems to make it to the mainstream world.

"It," in this case, is blockchain – the buzz-worthy distributed ledger technology that first came into widespread use with Bitcoin represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared. FinTech firms are embracing it and a variety of companies are already rushing to figure out how they can use it to save time and admin costs, according to Computerworld Senior Reporter Lucas Mearian.

Mearian sat down for this episode with Executive Editor Ken Mingis to explain what blockchain does, what makes it special, how it might not be as secure as thought, and how it's already being used. Financial firms rely on it for mobile payments in an ad hoc network in the Pacific region. Maersk uses it to track shipping.

And, as Mearian notes, another company – ShelterZoom – recently created a  blockchain offering to help companies keep track of real estate deals.

That kind of interest helps explain why IBM, SAP, Oracle and others are rushing to create blockchain-as-a-service offerings for customers to use. And it explains why blockchain is likely to grow and evolve rapidly over the next few years, Mearian said.

For the audio-only version, click play (or catch up on all earlier episodes) below. Or you can find us on iTunes, where you can download each episode and listen at your leisure.

Happy listening, and please, send feedback or suggestions for future topics to us. We'd love to hear from you.

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