Ron Wilson, Intel FPGA
It first came to our attention as the plausible-sounding but obscure data structure that made Bitcoin unhackable. Then some people lost a lot of money in attacks on Bitcoin exchanges. But before the cyberspace version of yellow crime-scene tape could come down, blockchain was back. Exonerated for the bitcoin fiascos, blockchains were now being researched as the next big thing in banking—the potential foundation for a new, revolutionary generation of secure asset-trading systems, handling everything from crude oil to credit derivatives. Maybe.
And before we could enquire about that little caveat, blockchains morphed again. Now they were the best friend of industry—managing supply chains, regulating software updates, perhaps even offering a secure programming environment for the Internet of Things (IoT).
But just a moment. What are blockchains? How could they be so widely useful? And do you need to care? Therein lies a tale.
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