Financial institutions are finally moving to accept blockchain, a tech originally developed for the controversial digital currency Bitcoin.

The technology is simple. Whenever a new transaction happens, the time and amount of the transaction are public (while identifying details of the participants are not), so all computers log the details at the same time. This is the equivalent of making deals, not behind closed doors with a handshake, but by shouting in the middle of the street. It’s impossible to lie about it later because everyone involved has independent, simultaneous records.

Blockchain has the potential to make finance honest, not just on the honor system like we currently trust our banks or our business partners, but plainly evident. And not just finance – any transaction where we care about the details could be recorded in this decentralized, eminently verifiable fashion.

Some banks have moved to file patents for various applications using blockchain, so once it becomes allowed it will likely become the mainstream way to verify financial transactions.

By Sharon Campbell