Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain (PDF) (Report). UK Government, Office for Science.

January 2016

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

distributed ledger.

BAT says
In 2016, numerous banks trialed distributed ledgers for international payments. Further use
cases are ongoing and has hyped the technology into high interest as a potential solution to
legacy problems and reconstruction of new structures of supply chains or within existing
supply chains with threats of possible disintermediation’s
There is also a global move to create standards in DLT that will in time become a standard
within existing standards bodies like the International Standards Organization (ISO)