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Quick glossary: Blockchain

Originally Published:
Jul 2017

Blockchain systems are part of a trend that is moving the internet-of-information era into an internet-of-value era, where assets—and asset ownership—can be transferred instantly and with absolute confidence. Every employee should know and understand what a blockchain is and how it could change every business transaction in your organization.

Whatever else you may think about the Information Age, there is no doubt that the rate of disruptive technology developed since its inception has accelerated precipitously. Personal computers, communication networks, the internet, email, cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things are just a few of the new technologies developed during the era that have changed the way all business is conducted. Business enterprises of all sizes are struggling just to keep up.

So at the risk of piling on, there is now another nascent technology to watch, which could disrupt how business transactions are conducted in the near future. It is called blockchain. The most prominent application of blockchain technology is currently Bitcoin, but that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Blockchain could potentially change the transactional mechanics of the entire global economy. Foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, central banking controls, etc., could all become nearly meaningless trappings of a bygone age.

Whether you’re a recent hire at an IT department help desk or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, you need to know and understand just what blockchain is and how it could change how every business transaction in your organization is recorded, tracked, and stored. This list of 20 blockchain technology terms defines some of the basic vocabulary associated with this budding technology.

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