The increasing number of blockchain patent filings in recent years shows a maturing and steadily growing industry; however, widespread adoption still faces considerable hurdles. The future of the blockchain landscape is likely a cornucopia of blockchains often tailor-made to solve particular problems in particular industries. All of these blockchains face, or will face, problems related to usability, interoperability, scalability, and privacy. Until solutions to these problems are developed, widespread adoption will be hampered.

What is a Blockchain?

A blockchain is a decentralized ledger of transactions maintained by a network of users that leverages cryptography and incentive mechanisms to secure the information stored in the ledger. The ledger consists of blocks of transactions linked together through cryptography to form a chain of blocks that grows longer over time as new blocks are added to the chain. The blockchain itself is a collection of blocks that contain every transaction on the network that ever occurred.

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