The blockchain is a novel paradigm for enabling a network of untrusted computers to collectively serve as a source of trust. The most well known application of the blockchain to date is Bitcoin, the non-state-backed cryptocurrency in which transfers are public but the identities of the individuals behind the transfers are masked. However there are many other applications of the blockchain as well, including smart contracts, tracking and management of digital assets, and supply chain management.
This presentation will provide an overview of the blockchain, including a high-level explanation of how transactions are verified using the collective processing power of a distributed network of computers. It will also address the broader significance of systems built on the concept of decentralized trust, including the implications for individuals, companies, and governments.