The Canadian government has launched a trial to explore the use of blockchain technology in making government research grant and funding information more transparent to the public.Story continues belowFor the trial, the National Research Council (NRC) is using the Catena Blockchain Suite, a Canadian-made product built on the Ethereum blockchain, to publish funding and grant information in real time.When the NRC creates or amends a grant, the pertinent information is stored on the Ethereum blockchain, and posted on an online database that Canadians can peruse.READ MORE: Federal government exploring ‘blockchain’ technology to boost innovation economy“Blockchains provide the ultimate in transparency and trust, making this technology a brave new world for organizations that strive to conduct transparent business,” the NRC said in a blog post.“These are early days yet, but the experiment is expected to provide constructive insight into the potential for blockchain technology and how it may be used for more open and transparent function of public programs.”What is the Ethereum blockchain?As the NRC website explains, “On the simplest level, blockchains are public ledgers that record transactions shared among many users. Once data is entered on a blockchain, it is secure and unalterable, and provides a permanent record.”The high level of security comes from storage of data in encrypted blocks that are decentralized, or stored on a network of computers around the world. This combination of encryption and decentralization ensures that data is practically impenetrable.The most well-known manifestation of blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a digital currency that stores all transactions and amounts on a decentralized public ledger. But while Bitcoin’s meteoric rise has garnered it much hype, its utility pales in comparison to Ethereum.WATCH: Bitcoin 101 for Canadians: a beginner’s guide to the digital currency
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