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Over the past couple of years, terms like bitcoin, HODL, and cryptocurrency have become commonplace throughout popular culture. At the same time, the technology underlying digital currencies like bitcoin, litecoin, and other alternative coins has received far less media attention. This is a disheartening trend, as the advancement underlying these currencies – referred to as blockchain technology – has the potential to completely alter how the world does business.

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is based off of cryptography, an advanced form of encryption. Utilizing a cryptographic process, this technology creates a running tab of information that is quite literally impossible to edit or alter after it is published. At first glance, such an advancement presents intriguing opportunities for industries like banking and insurance management. But its applications are not simply limited to the financial industry with limitless possibilities.

Brainstorming Ways to Use Blockchain

In short, blockchain technology is useful in any situation where you’d like to have a permanent ledger of information. From nonprofits, to government agencies, proper application of this technology could assist in providing clarity to sectors throughout the global economy. When one considers how a public and unchangeable log of corporate meetings, legislative committees, or discussions among any decision making body could affect how these bodies operate, the greater value of blockchain technology becomes clear. Blockchain is a great way to create digital currencies, but it could be an even better way of creating a new currency of trust.

Blockchain: A Modern Nonprofit Trust Agent

One example I have given thought to. Let’s discuss how the adoption of blockchain technology could affect the inner workings of a nonprofit in a bit more detail. One of the biggest issues faced by small nonprofits today is convincing potential donors that they are a legitimate organization. In today’s internet economy, it is easy for anyone to create a nonprofit serving any sort of cause. For those looking to set their organization apart from the crowd, utilizing a public blockchain to track expenditures would be a great way to foster trust with those looking to support their cause. Think of it as “permanent crowdfunding.” Additionally, allowing access to such information would make fraud (another common nonprofit risk) all the more difficult. Such measures may seem unprecedented at this moment in time, but the only way that such transparency will become normalized is if trailblazing individuals and organizations take the steps necessary to adopt this innovative technology.

Moving Past Cryptocurrency: The Next Generation of Blockchain

As a technology enthusiast, and someone who had dabbled in cryptocurrency, it is a strange feeling to admit that digital currency will probably not be the biggest innovation to be developed with blockchain technology. However, it is important for us to understand that whether or not we believe in the idea of decentralized currency, the underlying technology itself is here to stay. If we want to leverage blockchain technology in a way that allows for the betterment of society, we must move past our current infatuation with cryptocurrency and start to innovate its real potential.