RAMY ZABARAH, MULTIPLATFORM EDITOR, CNNMONEY: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been getting a lot of hype lately. And while some investors believe that these coins could be the future of money, other experts believe that what's actually more valuable is the underlying technology. It's known as Blockchain.
It's basically a public list of transactions, a more transparent record. You could think of this digital ledger like a game of dominoes. The Blockchain is powered by a decentralized network of computers that all work on the same task, no one owns the system, everyone helps run it.
Whenever a transaction is initiated between two computers, it has to be certified by another. That makes it difficult for anyone that cheat. For the sale to go through, a bunch of mining computers have to try and solve a cryptographic puzzle, sort of like a really complicated math problem. Once one computer solves that puzzle, a record of a successful transaction gets added to the list for everyone to see. All editions are permanent, so no one can delete or change the data. You could only keep at it.
You maybe asking yourself, what's so great about this glorified list? Well, since the ledger can't be changed after the fact, getting away with fraud is a lot harder. Blockchain advocates also argue that this technology cuts out the middleman by fulfilling the role of institutions like banks and government agencies. This means more direct access to your property, not to mention the possibility of much smaller transaction fees.
Sounds promising, but does it live up to the hype?
The exchange of cryptocurrencies is a clear use case. But Blockchain could also be useful for other types of record keeping. Let's say you're a farmer and you lose the deed to your land in a fire or a flood. If the government lost your paperwork, too, you may be out of luck. But if you uploaded that deed to the Blockchain, it's easy to prove that you own that land.
In fact, people are experimenting with Blockchain technology in a variety of places, from preventing voter fraud to storing health records, to authenticating memes on the Internet, even the very institutions Blockchain threatens to disrupt, or exploring the technology's possibilities with companies like Bank of America investing in their own Blockchain tools. But for right now, those experiments are still in the early stages and it might be a while before we see the kind of crazy Blockchain takeover that the media is talking about.
基本上来说，区块链就是交易的公开清单，是更为透明的记录 。你可以将这种数字账簿想象成多米诺骨牌游戏 。区块链由从事同一个任务的分散式电脑网络推动，没有人拥有该体系，所有人都可以帮助运行 。
无论何时两台电脑之间启动交易，都要经过另一台电脑的认证 。这使人们很难作弊 。为了保证交易的进行，一堆挖矿电脑要尽量解决密码难题，就像解答非常复杂的数学问题一样 。一旦一台电脑解决了这一难题，那一单成功的交易就会被记录到所有人都能看到的清单上 。所有编辑都是永久性的，所以没有人能删除或改变数据 。只能保持 。
你可能会问自己，这个被吹捧的清单有何出众之处？因为这个账簿不能在事后更改，这就使逃避欺诈变得更难 。区块链支持者还指出，这种技术承担了银行和政府机构的角色，从而免除了中间人这一环节 。这表明你可以更直接的获得财产，更不用说交易费用可能会少很多了 。
加密货币交易是明确的用例 。但是区块链也可以用来进行其他类型的记录 。比如说，你是一名农民，你在一场火灾或洪水中失去了土地契约 。如果政府也遗失了你的文件，那你就倒霉了 。但是如果你将契约上传到区块链，那要证明你拥有那片土地就很容易了 。
实际上，人们正在不同领域对区块链技术进行实验，比如避免选民舞弊、存储医疗记录、鉴定互联网模因，甚至连区块链可能会破坏的机构，都在同美国银行等公司探索该技术的可能性，美国银行本身也对区块链工具进行了投资 。但是目前来看，这些实验仍处于早期阶段，要看到媒体所谈论的那种疯狂的区块链接管时代，可能还需要一段时间 。
1. get away with （做坏事而）未受惩罚；（做冒险之事而）未遭遇不测；
例句：I wanted to catch the guys who thought they could get away with it.
2. not to mention 不用说；更不必说；
例句：He also did not grasp this most basic art skills. not to mention close to the international level.
他还没有掌握这门艺术的最基本的技巧 。更不用说接近国际水平了 。
3. live up to 遵守（诺言）；符合，不辜负（期望）；
例句：Sales have not lived up to expectations this year.
4. out of luck 运气不好；不走运；不凑巧；
例句：'What do you want, Roy? If it's money, you're out of luck.'