Ask the Experts: Blockchain Technology

Submit questions about the system that could disrupt industries and might even replace the Internet

19 August 2016

This month, The Institute reported on IEEE’s involvement in the development of blockchain technology. Best known as the system that supports transactions for Bitcoin, the digital currency, blockchains operate transparently and are decentralized. Everyone using the system can see what’s going on. They can view one another’s transactions, which are made anonymously, yet the technology makes it nearly impossible to hack into or destroy information.

Blockchain security features are a main reason why the technology could be used for other purposes such as securing electronic medical records and e-voting results. Some say blockchain technology could even replace the Internet as we know it.

Here to answer your questions about the technology are two experts. To participate in the discussion, submit your questions in the comments section below, or via institute@ieee.org. The Institute will post a selection of responses next month on its website.

Jeff Garzik is cofounder and CEO of Bloq, a company in Chicago that provides blockchain technology to businesses worldwide. Garzik serves on the advisory board of several blockchain organizations including BitFury and BitPay, both of which help companies and customers make Bitcoin transactions. He has presented talks on Bitcoin and blockchain technology at TEDx and several major conferences, and he provides briefings to banks, corporations, governments, and hedge funds.

William Mougayar is the author of The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology [Wiley, 2016]. Mougayar invests in blockchain startups and advises several leading blockchain organizations. One is the Ethereum Foundation, in Zug, Switzerland. The foundation’s mission is to develop protocols and tools to produce decentralized applications that rely on blockchain technology for a more globally accessible, free, and trustworthy Internet. Another is Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C., that is focused on public policy issues regarding cryptocurrency and related technologies.

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