An Introduction to the Disruptive Potential of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology
Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ether, is relatively new. The idea of Blockchain and the broader distributed ledger technology (DLT)—cryptographically locked peer-to-peer databases upon which new transactions can be appended, but previous transactions never deleted or changed—is deceptively simple, yet its effects are profound. As The Economist has stated, “[t]he technology behind bitcoin could transform how the economy works.” For example, just as cryptocurrencies have technically removed the need for intermediaries such as banks for some transactions, trusted intermediaries in other industries may be similarly redundant. Even the disrupters AirBnB and Uber, may in turn be disrupted. DLT is not, however, limited to decentralised uses. Financial institutions, industries such as insurance and shipping, governments and even central banks are actively working on transforming their services and reducing costs through the use of DLT.
Alexandra Sims is an Associate Professor and Head of Department of the Commercial Law Department in the University of Auckland’s Business School. She is part of an interdisciplinary team funded by the Law Foundation that is looking at the regulation of cryptocurrencies in New Zealand and Australia.
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The venue for this event has been generously donated by GridAKL.