Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain (PDF) (Report). UK Government, Office for Science.
A distributed ledger is a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data
geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, and/or institutions. Users of Distributed
Ledger Technology (DLT) significantly benefit from the efficiencies and economics by creating a
more robust environment for real-time and secure data sharing. Contrary to common belief, the
Bitcoin blockchain is not the only distributed ledger, in fact, many other users of Distributed
Ledger Technology use different methodologies to achieve the same consensus (e.g. Ripple,
MultiChain, HyperLedger Project).
A peer-to-peer network is required as well as consensus algorithms to ensure replication
across nodes is undertaken.
One distributed ledger design is through implementation of a
public or private blockchain system.
But all distributed ledgers do not have to
necessarily employ a chain of blocks to successfully provide secure and valid achievement of
distributed consensus, a Blockchain is only one type of data structure considered to be a
In 2016, numerous banks trialed distributed ledgers for international payments. Further usecases are ongoing and has hyped the technology into high interest as a potential solution tolegacy problems and reconstruction of new structures of supply chains or within existingsupply chains with threats of possible disintermediation’sThere is also a global move to create standards in DLT that will in time become a standardwithin existing standards bodies like the International Standards Organization (ISO)