Browse Definitions:

blockchain economy

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

The blockchain economy is a scenario and potential future environment in which the technology replaces current monetary systems, potentially on a global basis.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger, essentially a type of decentralized database that stores a secure and permanent record of transaction data. Mechanisms in the technology ensure that the records of assets and transactions cannot be tampered with. Distributed ledgers have no central data store and are managed through a peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture. Blockchain is most commonly associated with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency but it has many other potential applications, including distributed software and storage systems. Blockchain can also be used to securely store and exchange data about individuals, including their identities, assets, financial and professional histories, medical records, tax-related data and consumer preferences, among many other possibilities.

For financial institutions, blockchain and similar digital ledgers can reduce the costs associated with transactions. Because the system is decentralized and distributed, it doesn’t require the intermediaries that add overhead and processing requirements. Mathematical functions in the system add a layer of protection to each transaction, drastically reducing the possibility that anyone could tamper with a record. The security of transactions within the system makes it much less vulnerable to fraud and cybercrime than conventional banking systems.

Blockchain could revolutionize the burgeoning sharing economy by facilitating the secure exchange of value among participants in a given system. The peer-to-peer (P2P) system of exchange is inherently democratic, based on shared ownership and equality among participants rather than owners seeking to profit from users of the system. Such a P2P system is sometimes referred to as a platform cooperative.

See also: collaborative consumption

Bettina Warburg explains how blockchain will radically transform the economy:

This was last updated in May 2017

Continue Reading About blockchain economy

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

It's a very interesting article and very important subject. Totally agree with the author and thanks for the video. A lot of people do confuse Blockchain and Bitcoin, they are relevant to each other, but totally different conceptions, just like you've said.


File Extensions and File Formats


  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.


  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...



  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.