This IDC study highlights some of the impacts of blockchain on data and data management. Blockchain technology at its simplest definition is a data store that is distributed across a network among participants that are able to come to consensus on the validity of transactions, without the need for a central authority to mediate or authenticate. Initial applications of the technology were focused on cryptocurrencies in public permissionless networks, but more recent projects are distancing themselves from the likes of Bitcoin by using permissioned networks and a new definition: distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). Blockchain and DLT are primarily focused on financial applications, but the technology is applicable to tracking changes against any physical or digital asset, including data that is of value to individuals or organizations.
"Blockchain innovations will be disruptive in the data integration and integrity software market because the technology itself enforces data integrity and provenance while distributing the most recent state of data among all interested parties; these are some of the toughest problems that data integration and integrity software has been trying to solve in a world of disparate and uncontrolled data sources," says Stewart Bond, director, Data Integration and Integrity software research, at IDC. "There are tremendous opportunities for enterprises, consortiums, regulators, and technology vendors to cooperate in blockchain research and development projects, help set standards, and develop solutions for management, integration, interoperability, and analysis of data in blockchain networks and applications."