What Is the Blockchain and What’s it Used For?

At this point, most people have at least heard of blockchain, but it’s become something of a running joke how complex the technology can be to understand. Chances are you associate the technology with Bitcoin, but while that was the first real-world application of blockchain technology, it’s far from the only use case. While some people equate the invention of blockchain with Bitcoin’s pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakomota, the concept has been around since 1991, first coined in a paper by researchers Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta called “How to Timestamp a Digital Document.” Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), the blockchain is a record that anyone can add to, that nobody can change, and that isn’t controlled by any one person or entity.

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