The Dutch city of Rotterdam wants to use blockchain to record lease contracts, while Sweden and Honduras are looking to place their land registries on blockchain. In Kenya, the government is running pilots, with the help of tech giant IBM, to test blockchain technology in the management of health, education and property records. It may sound a little like science fiction, but blockchain can change the way we transact. It enables people to take control of their money, data, identity and property, without needing a bank or government department to verify and safeguard these assets. This immutable online record is decentralised — that is, controlled by the consensus of each member of that particular blockchain, whether it be public or private. Bitcoin is the best-known public blockchain, but the possibilities are endless. Insurer New York Life is piloting a rewards programme whereby its customers, many of whom wear Fitbits, are awarded tokens based on their daily step count. These toke...

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