Blockchain is the buzzword of the year if not the decade. Companies are already changing their names to sound more blockchain-y and announcing blockchain projects in order to catch the tsunami of hype surrounding the new technology. But what are the real-life applications of blockchain and more importantly what are the challenges they face?

To answer the first question: there are many of them. The EmTech China conference organized by MIT Technology Review held a panel on blockchain on Monday that brought some of the more interesting blockchain ideas to light. It also showed that cryptocurrencies are only one piece of the puzzle.

“Comparing blockchain with cryptocurrencies is like comparing the internet to Yahoo: it’s just one application,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at the Hyperledger Project.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.