A lot has been written about blockchain's ability to change the infrastructure of financial institutions and the manner in which money moves around the world----but can it also be used for a greater good for a society? Hundreds of startups are racing to make the blockchain more secure and scalable, with the ultimate goal of having a greater impact on consumer safety. TechCrunch explores those startups that are using blockchain's underlying technology to authenticate art, track pharmaceuticals throughout the supply chain, and combat counterfeiting of luxury goods and accessories.
According to Blythe Masters, the blockchain represents a watershed moment in technological history. “You should be taking this technology as seriously as you should have been taking the development of the Internet in the early 1990s,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. Blockchain technology is a hyper-secure record of digital events that is distributed among many different computers. The blockchain can only be updated by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system, and once information has been entered, it can never be erased. Blockchain technology is best known for its connection to the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. It’s what enables transactions to happen without middlemen or a central body, while protecting against duplication and fraud.