A distributed ledger is a synchronized and decentralized digital database software system. It maintains all transaction information in a decentralized manner across different locations, by reducing the requirement of a central authority for checking against manipulation. It permits any online transactions or data storage to be safe by preventing the probability of cybercrime as all the consumers are able to see all transactions, and the data is stored in a register. A digital ledger can securely and accurately store all this information with the help of cryptography, which can be accessible only by using cryptographic signatures.
Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology. Blockchain technology is a decentralized software program that establishes a digital register, which enables in protected online payment transactions. These transactions are recorded in the register from a number of computers. The register maintains a continuous set of data containing information about the transaction records without changing the transaction information. The data in the register is maintained in the form of lists, which are organized in Blocks for each time period. These Blocks consists of information about the transactions, and provides a reference to the previous Block, thus, the present Block links to the prior Block to form a Blockchain. Generally, one Block contains the information about a set of transactional records for a particular period of time or fixed memory size.
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Distributed ledger technology based transactions enable faster, safer, and economical transactions as compared to conventional transaction systems. This is due to the fact that conventional transaction systems refer to central administrator or centralized data storage system. Moreover, distributed ledger technology can be used to build a permanent and transparent ledger system for gathering data on exchanges, real-time tracking of digital transaction and payments, and to prevent frauds and errors. All the information stored in distributed ledger becomes unchangeable, and can be accessible from each node of a network as it becomes identical replica. Hence, if any changes are made in the register, it will be reflected and copied to every user’s database within a span of seconds. Therefore, digital ledgers are more secure and to make a successful cyber-attack, a hacker needs to attack all the distributed copies, simultaneously.
However, lack of awareness about distributed ledger technology and limited scalability are two major factors expected to restraint growth opportunity of the global distributed ledger technology market.
The distributed ledger technology market is segmented on the basis of geography including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa regions. The market in North America is expected to be dominant in the global market. This is owing to rising awareness and increasing applications of this technology in various segments. For instance, according to IoT Newsletter Organization in 2017, U.S. Department of Energy is exploring the application of blockchain technology for the management of next-generation power grids. This in turn boosting growth of the distributed ledger technology market.
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The key market players in the distributed ledger technology industry include IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Amazon.com, Inc., SAP SE, Intel Corporation, Samsung Group, NVIDIA Corporation, Xilinx, Inc., AMD, Inc., Siemens AG, Accenture Plc, and Infosys Ltd.
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