If you’re an adult human being in Australia it’s really unlikely you haven’t heard of the blockchain.

You might even have a friend or smug cousin who made a pile in cryptocurrency and bragged about it for a few months before… well, they stopped talking about it.

But the blockchain is about so much more than cryptocurrency.

Here’s how it works

The blockchain is a global online database and allows us to make transactions and share information all over the world.

For example, a user will request a transaction be made to the blockchain. The transaction will then be recorded and logged by users’ computers around the world, meaning that all users have a record of the transaction, eliminating the need for a central authority like a bank.

“There’s no cheating or hiding on the blockchain,” the CEO and founder of investment app Simply Wall St, Al Bentley explained.

Hmm… I think I could use a demonstration

This is it in a nutshell.

Blockchain technology can be used to track and trace goods along the supply chain to monitor information. By extension, it can be used for tax applications, royalties and licensing, identity management and compliance records.

However, its major benefits come with some significant questions. Who regulates blockchain and who is accountable if something goes wrong? Additionally, as the blockchain grows, so too does the amount of information computers need to store.

Come back tomorrow to read our analysis of blockchain applications.

Now read: Here’s 2 ways retailers like Starbucks and Amazon use blockchain

Now read: Expert insight: What’s next for Cryptocurrency?

Now read: The top 10 jobs of the future

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