While excitement about the potential of blockchain has been brewing in the technology sector for some time now, the hype recently penetrated the mainstream as bitcoin furore has reached fever pitch.

At Inspirefest 2017, Amor Sexton, senior innovation manager at Citi, provided a clear and concise explanation of just what blockchain is for those of us scratching our heads at the term’s mere mention.

Just like the shipping container, blockchain has the potential to provide a more secure and efficient way to transfer one of the most valuable modern commodities: data.

Though there are more than 100 different types of blockchain in existence, they all share one common factor: the use of a “shared digital ledger”.

This provides “a single source of data that all of the participants in the network can see, can contribute to and can trust that it is accurate”.

Though Sexton was quick to highlight that blockchain isn’t a ‘cure-all’, she explained that its ability to do away with a middleman in a transaction has the potential to reduce costs, create new business models and markets, and increase efficiencies.