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The double-edged sword of blockchain

| March 6, 2019 – 6:26 pm | 651 views

Many journalists and publishers are struggling to get to grips with blockchain.

To explain it in simple terms, blockchain is a growing list of recordsĀ  – called blocks – which are encrypted and linked. Each block also contains a timestamp and other information about the origin of data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data it contains, which may come in handy when we need to protect news content from tampering or even censorship.

Another advantage of data stored in a blockchain is that it has been recorded and validated by other users, who can be humans or computers, thus helping verification.

Troy Norcross is the co-founder of Blockchain Rookies, a company that advises businesses on using blockchain in their day-to-day work.

To make the concept of blockchain more accessible to the delegates, Norcross used a metaphor of an Excel spreadsheet: it is a way to add data into rows, validate them and link them in columns. This creates a chain that any user can see at any time, with the possibility to verify who and when entered the data and where it came from.