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Every once and a while, I step into some article like this one: Forget Bitcoin -- What Is the Blockchain and Why Should You Care?.

I've been hearing a lot of blabbering about companies to begin using the Blockchain technology for book keeping, for example, but making no use of Bitcoin at all.

I wonder: how is it possible to separate both things?

I mean, the aim of Satoshi Nakamoto was to create a decentralized coin that would supress the need of a trustworthy third part, which operates over the Blockchain.

The main aspect of the Blockchain is that it's a decentralized network, working on a peer-to-peer basis, no servers, no clients, only peers. The only reason someone would contribute to the building of the Blockchain is the monetary reward in form of mined bitcoins.

How could a company make use of the Blockchain? How would it pay someone to do its book keeping (or whatever) without payments in crypto-currency?

I see that this might be a rather wide question, but I'd be satisfied with only one example of how could it be possible to use the Blockchain technology without Bitcoin (or similar crypto-currencies).

  • I think you will find this of interest and it might answer your question (it answers a similar question). – karask Jan 19 '16 at 20:06
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Blockchain by definition is a data structure, in that sense we can and already have decoupled it from Bitcoin. There are many alt-currencies that implement blockchain as a data structure and a data store.

Ethereum is building a blockchain based application platform.

Storj is an example of blockchain technology that also is trying to create a blockchain for data storage.

The SAFE(Secure Access For Everyone) network is attempting to build an entire computing platform built on a blockchain.

The key is incentivizing some form of participation by providing a service. On the Bitcoin blockchain the service being provided is the ability to send value globally very quickly. Thus the reward that was created is financial.

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    I don't think that this answers the question. While, it is a data structure the incentivizing to support this structure in a decentralized pseudoanonymous way is accomplished with some form of payment (digital token that has some value). All of the examples mentioned provide payments in crypto-currencies (Ether, StorjCoin, SafeCoin). Thus there are alt-currencies with blockchains that store data but all of them also have a crypto-currency reward for the incentivization. E.g. StorJ doesn't incentivize participation with a service to the people that farm (mine) it... it provides StorJCoin. – karask Jan 20 '16 at 7:54
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To start with a softer example, Amazoncoin used by Amazon.com is moving into other uses for blockchain tech. Although it can be bought, sold, gifted, etc, its main purpose is to save money within Amazon itself, eliminating the need for bank transfers from one region to another which can be costly and also less secure. That scratches the surface.

BlockChain tech is now being implemented into internal banking systems that run their own blockchains to avoid fees associated with moving money regionally, quicker transactions, and a more secure and transparent ledger. It's rumored that even stocks will soon be using block chain tech (there may be a few active examples already). Here are some links that I think will get a little closer to the answer you are looking for. They tend to be a little vague, as banks are not in a hurry to share their internal operations, but give these a quick read, and follow links that are similar and you will see some of the many applications blockchains have.

Citibank mentioned in one of these already outdated articles has secured another sponsorship spot in the upcoming Consensus 2016 in March, happening in New York City.

Info on Citibank and others researching blockchains http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/09/09/visa-citi-nasdaq-invest-30-million-in-blockchain-startup-chain-com/

Lastly, one of the companies that is creating these internal use enterprise class blockchains http://chain.com/

There is a lot more out there to read, just pluck some key words and names from these articles and search them.

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