Video Series:

Unpacked

Unpack key topics that impact banking, investing, financial services and the wider economy in this award-winning explainer series. 


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When we think of blockchain, many of us will initially connect it with cryptocurrencies. But there’s so much more to blockchain.The real-world applications of blockchain are improving security, transparency, and reliability in our increasingly digital world.

 

From finance to enterprise technology and beyond, blockchain is enabling an exciting future. How are distributed ledgers revolutionizing our world?

 

This is Blockchain: Unpacked.

 

The basic concept behind blockchain is simple. It serves as a giant distributed database, organizing records of information into blocks which are chained together.

Blockchains rely on a network of computers called nodes to keep them up to date. The nodes can be controlled by one party or multiple parties. When the nodes are controlled by multiple parties, this creates a decentralized network.

Because the data isn’t controlled by one individual or organization, it’s more reliable, trustworthy, and transparent to the network participants. These blockchain networks can be public or private. When they’re private, only verified participants have access.

 

There are four unique elements of blockchain.

  1. First, the nodes must come to an agreement on the new data that is entered into the blockchain.
  2. Blockchain data cannot be changed easily or tampered with, making it more accurate and reliable.
  3. All data in the blockchain is digitally signed. This authentication can show who created a given data entry or the current owner of an asset.
  4. Transactions can take place directly between participants without the need for a central intermediary.

 

In banking and finance, institutions are using private blockchains to create new ways of doing business.

 

Solutions provided by blockchain include:

 

  • Coin-enabled payment rails created by banks to allow 24/7, real-time money movement. And improved information exchange helps to prevent mismatches and pre-validate details. This can create better end-to-end experiences. For example, in cross-border payments, which can be slow and inefficient.
  • And in public blockchains, new decentralized finance applications are highlighting how smart contracts can lower the cost of creating financial products.
  • In the medical field, blockchain technology played a pivotal role in the COVID-19 vaccination program, helping hospitals track storage and supply of vaccines. This advancement improves record keeping and data sharing within pharmaceutical supply chains. This helps avoid logistical issues and supports efficient vaccine rollouts. It can create greater certainty and provide stronger fraud prevention tools that are welcome in this interconnected digital world.

 

Solutions like non-fungible tokens – or NFTs – are an example of this. NFTs are unique tokens that prove exclusive ownership of a digital asset on a blockchain. Collectors use NFTs to trade anything from digital art, a GIF, or even a tweet in a whole new digital marketplace.

 

The future of blockchain looks bright. It could provide…

 

secure voting systems…

 

source tracking for fair trade products…

 

and control over our own digital identities.

 

We’ve even taken blockchain to space by using smart contracts to execute transactions between satellites. This could lead to major developments in banking like brand-new payment structures.

 

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to future possibilities. But as its uses emerge, blockchain can accelerate change for the better.

 

When we think of blockchain, many of us connect it with cryptocurrencies. But there’s so much more to it than that – blockchains are continually improving security, transparency and reliability in our increasingly digital world. In this video, unpack decentralized networks, public and private blockchains, NFTs and more to understand what blockchain technology is and why it has so much potential.

The material contained herein is intended as a general market and/or economic commentary and is not intended to constitute financial or investment advice. Any views or opinions expressed herein are solely those of the speakers and do not reflect the views of and opinions of JPMorgan Chase. This information in no way constitutes JPMorgan Chase research and should not be treated as such. Further, the views expressed herein may differ from that contained in JPMorgan Chase research reports. The information herein has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy or completeness.