Everybody knows about cryptocurrencies. It’s not news that hackers are trading stolen private information for Bitcoin. But what are we to make of the underlying technology that enables these transactions?

Blockchain technology is at the heart of cryptocurrency but its application doesn’t stop there. Before we launch into how else blockchain can be used, here’s a little background.

Blockchain technology is essentially a shared digital ledger in which transactions are immutable. Every transaction is a new “block” in the “chain” (shared ledger).

Outside of cryptocurrency, block chain could be used to implement an Uber-like shipping service where transactions are pseudonyms recorded on a public ledger. This would take some of the power away from Uber and share it amongst peers. Motherboard wrote an article on this exact concept.

Think about this application. You have a refrigerated truck with an IoT temperature sensor. When the temperature in the truck goes over forty degrees Fahrenheit, the IoT sensor can write that immutable infraction to a shared ledger. This would make food safety that much more certain.

There are so many other possibilities yet to be discovered. In all the possibilities, the most exciting to us are the services that don’t rely on a carrier but instead rely on individuals. These individuals will provide valuable services to their peers while the whole transaction will get approved and added to the blockchain ledger. It almost makes us want to shout, “power to the people!”

Perhaps cryptocurrencies will implode under the stress of recent crash dives. One thing is certain and that is blockchain technology is here to stay.