(Title inspired by a response to me mentioning distributed ledger technology to a mate)
Distribute (relative to computers) – To share/spread over a network
Ledger – A book or collection of financial accounts
If we combine the two, and relate it to Crypto, it is to share the records of all transaction on a network across all the participants on the network. Each participant will have the exact same collection of records, any change made to the ledger must be agreed upon by the majority of participants, once this is reached, it is called a consensus.
Due to this technology, it makes the records immutable, it also means there is no need for a central authority like a bank/government or institution as it is governed by the participants in the network, this is referred to as decentralised.
DLT is the foundation technology which underpins all other technologies in Crypto, it is essentially the general term used to describe them all. The most popular form of DLT is Blockchain, followed by Directed Acylic Graph (populary used by Cardano). We also have newer iteration such as; Holochain and Radix. As time goes on, unsurprisingly the technology becomes more efficient in every way, in terms of; scalability, energy consumption and security.
So now that you have an understanding in regards to the technology that is underpinning Cryptocurrencies, you can begin to understand and imagine the real world applications it could be used on. A system that cannot be cheated/changed by corruption, a system where records (of any kind) are PERMANENT.
There are projects that are actively working on applying this technology to; Healthcare, Identification, Logistics (think containers on lorries going to ports and on huge ships) and also voting. We will briefly go into some of these applications in future Crypticles to gain more insight.
As always, if you found this informative, please share to those who could find it useful