Lots of us are struggling to wrap our minds around that word “bitcoin.” We’re not quite sure what it is and why it’s a big deal, or if it’s just a scam. It’s not a scam, but it is still evolving, and probably not quite ready for primetime. That’s because it’s still volatile—there’s so little of it in use that it doesn’t take much to jerk the value of each bitcoin up and down—and because using bitcoin requires more effort right now than most people want to bother with. But if you still want want a simple explanation: Bitcoin is cash for the online world.
This article is not about bitcoin.
What it is about is the verification system that enables bitcoin: It’s called the “blockchain.” It embodies—if one can use that word for the disembodied virtual world—a concept that has a profound potential to change our lives. While bitcoin already uses a blockchain, it’s likely many more things will in the future. It’s such a cool concept.
What the BlockChain Is
A blockchain is a large digital record made out of a chain of