Winstead – Bitcoin is the first blockchain or distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) to successfully solve a problem succinctly described by Marc Andreessen: “Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.”
Blockchain transactions, which need not involve a central authority or middleman, were first used to make payment transfers without the involvement of any financial institution (or in some cases, any government currency).
Entrepreneurs, businesses and governments are now seeing the possibilities for public and private blockchains to be applied to a host of activities and industries in which intermediaries control the process of transfers and maintain the necessary systems in exchange for a fee. They also see the potential to reach new customers and markets.
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