``... blockchains have a host of other uses [besides as a foundation for e-currencies] because they meet the need for a trustworthy record, something vital for transactions of every sort. Dozens of startups now hope to capitalise on the blockchain technology, either by doing clever things with the bitcoin blockchain or by creating new blockchains of their own. One idea, for example, is to make cheap, tamper-proof public databases--land registries, say, (Honduras and Greece are interested); or registers of the ownership of luxury goods or works of art. Documents can be notarised by embedding information about them into a public blockchain--and you will no longer need a notary to vouch for them. Financial-services firms are contemplating using blockchains as a record of who owns what instead of having a series of internal ledgers. A trusted private ledger removes the need for reconciling each transaction with a counterparty, it is fast and it minimises errors. Santander reckons that it could save banks up to $20 billion a year by 2022. Twenty-five banks have just joined a blockchain startup, called R3 CEV, to develop common standards, and NASDAQ is about to start using the technology to record trading in securities of private companies.''

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