The Tech Under Bitcoin Could Verify Your Real Estate Records Online / Alexander Howard / 09/03/2015 05:36 PM EDT

The electronic currency Bitcoin works because of encryption and a blockchain — a widely accessible, distributed record of everyone who has created, accessed or altered a given file. Bitcoin’s blockchain tracks who has had each Bitcoin, verifies its authenticity, and so on.

This technology, however, has much broader applications. As governments move to release more data and documents online, verifying the authenticity of those files will become increasingly important. In the future, governments could use blockchains to track and verify the ownership of property records, banking records, securities or anything else posted on anopen data platform. 

Brian Forde, the director of the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, explores the concept in the video below.