chapter  1
5 Pages

Distributed Ledgers

WithSean T. Manion, Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy

Distributed ledgers are nothing new. They actually have been around for centuries. Blockchain has simply created a framework for having a secured, shared system of distributed ledgers, which is digitized to enable rapid, automated synchronization across the entire distributed system. The core value of a distributed ledger is that it allows for an agreed-upon record of past events as a shared basis for future action. A distributed ledger that does not rely on a centralized authority to stay synchronized in its contents allows for higher trust among the parties using the ledger. The degree of trust will depend on the level of shared governance and immutability of the contents. The popularization of blockchain applications for an electronic cash system and elsewhere in the financial industry has been the foundation for a tremendous amount of research and development on blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies.