Just when we finally figured out how to contract for “cloud” services and SaaS, here comes blockchain—the next disruptor for IT, businesses and, yes, us lawyers.
So what is blockchain? This is one of the best definitions that we have found from the Wall Street Journal, CIO Explainer: What Is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority. Once a block of data is recorded on the blockchain ledger, it’s extremely difficult to change or remove. When someone wants to add to it, participants in the network—all of which have copies of the existing blockchain—run algorithms to evaluate and verify the proposed transaction. If a majority of nodes agree that the transaction looks valid…then the new transaction will be approved and a new block added to the chain.