When an international conglomerate says it would like to turn one of your state’s quiet suburbs into a world capitol of blockchain, you’re going to have some questions.
Like, who is this company? Why are they coming to West Hartford, Conn.? And of course, what is blockchain — other than a headache, a 2018 buzzword for the techie set?
To some, blockchain is the super-smart computer technology that allows them to trade Bitcoin and other digital tokens online. To others, it’s a futuristic way to track shipments of goods from the warehouse to your doorstep. Still others envision blockchain powering all transactions one day, from shared cars to real estate deals to insurance claims.
One company banking on the rise of blockchain for business, Seven Stars Cloud Group Inc., hopes to make West Hartford its international headquarters for financial technology and innovation.
The company expects to attract more than 50 companies to its new Fintech Village, and bring at least 330 workers to the hub over five years.
If you want to hold your own with them at happy hour, here’s everything you need to know:
What Is Blockchain, Actually?
Think of blockchain software as high-tech accounting, and a single blockchain as a ledger, or chronological log of transactions, that’s resistant to hacking because it is decentralized. No one central authority owns or controls the information on it. Instead, the blockchain exists across a network of users and devices.
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