This might technically be incorrect, however philosophically it is the only way to explain "the blockchain" without going in this cryptocurrency-"asset/value transfer"-rubbish which really is not what the blockchain is about.
So, lets assume there are 8 layers. The 8. layer is the blockchain layer, its whole purpose is to answer the question
who did what when
on protocol level, ie. accessible and available for all like FTP/HTTP (TCP/IP) for data transfer.
Now it should make more sense to you why asset transfer and votings and patents and author's rights and backoffice optimization are all use cases for blockchain technology: "who did what when".
taken from: https://monax.io/explainers/ecosystem_applications/