Understanding Distributed Ledger Technology
Unlike centralized databases, distributed ledgers do not rely on a central repository for storing data.
Instead, transactions are processed and verified by nodes in the network.
Distributed ledgers can be public, like most publicly traded blockchains, or private and permissioned, used by enterprises.
They can record both static and dynamic data.
Benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology
Distributed ledger technology, particularly in the form of blockchains, is predominantly used in financial applications.
Bitcoin is a well-known example of distributed ledger technology, primarily used for storing wealth and conducting transactions.
However, it also finds applications in other industries.
Government agencies may experiment with distributed ledgers to record ownership titles, while the healthcare sector could utilize them for medical records.
Businesses already employ distributed ledger technology in supply chains.
This technology offers several advantages:
- Creation of a transparent data record
- Reduction in operational costs and increased efficiency
- Decreased latency between ledger updates
- Lower risks of fraudulent activity, tampering, and manipulation
- Enhanced security levels
Differences Between Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technology
While a blockchain is a distributed ledger technology, not all are blockchains.
Blockchains organize their data into blocks connected in a chain.
However, distributed ledgers can employ different approaches, with data being loosely structured or completely unstructured, depending on the design of the specific distributed ledger.