A distributed ledger is a database of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data that is geographically spread across multiple sites in a network. Distributed ledgers rely on similar principles of consensus to a blockchain. Although distributed ledger technology and blockchain share the same conceptual origin and purpose — a decentralized database or log of records, they are not exactly the same. Even though they are different, the terms Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) are often used interchangeably. This has led to a significant amount of confusion. So, what’s the difference?
By enabling the digitization of assets, blockchain technology is driving a fundamental shift from the Internet of information, where we can instantly view, exchange and communicate information to the Internet of value, where we can instantly exchange assets. A new global economy of immediate value transfer is on its way, where big intermediaries no longer play a major role. Blockchain will profoundly disrupt hundreds of industries that rely on intermediaries, including banking, finance, academia, real estate, insurance, legal, healthcare and the public sector — amongst many others.