Trend overview

A blockchain is a type of shared, continuously-updated, chronologically-ordered database. Originally developed in 2008 by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto as the basis for his crypto-currency Bitcoin, each individual record – or 'block' – is distributed across the network with a timestamp and a link to the previous block. This is why it has become referred to as a 'block chain'.

By distributing digital ledgers to each computer or 'node' plugged in to the blockchain, it creates a public, immutable record which cannot be centrally amended, generating a greater sense of confidence and trust in transactions, and threatening intermediaries from banks to companies exploiting the so-called sharing economy.