Blockchain: Novel Provenance Applications [April 12, 2022]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "Blockchain, generally, is a database technology that records and stores information in blocks of data that are linked, or 'chained,' together. Data stored on a blockchain are continually shared, replicated, and synchronized across the nodes in a network--individual computer systems or specialized hardware that communicate with each other and store and process information. This system enables tamper-resistant recordkeeping without a centralized authority or intermediary. There are multiple types of blockchains, and, depending on the type, recorded data may be accessible to all users or only a designated subset. All blockchains share common characteristics, including decentralization (i.e., no centralized authority), immutability (i.e., the blockchain records are unalterable), and pseudonymity (i.e., how users' real-world identities are handled). Certain blockchain types may offer greater levels of decentralization and pseudonymity than others. New blockchain applications, such as smart contracts, non-fungible tokens, and decentralization autonomous organizations, may automate processes or replace intermediaries in a variety of fields. Recent developments in blockchain governance protocols and consensus mechanisms have raised concerns about the environmental impact, oversight, and accountability of blockchain networks."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R47064
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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