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How Is Blockchain Used?

Financial transactions are the most obvious application, but there are other opportunities as well.

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In this second article of our blockchain series, we look at where the investment activity is and how the technology can be applied. We also name some limitations. For background, see our previous article, "Blockchain: Disruption by Decentralization?"

Among existing companies, several industries are dominating early experimentation with blockchain technology. Blockchain was invented for payments, so it’s no surprise that the financial services sector has taken an interest; Bank of America (BAC) and Mastercard (MA) have filed for dozens of patents between them. Some technology companies--namely IBM (IBM), Apple (AAPL), Intel (INTC), and Accenture (ACN)--each have accumulated patent filings in the double digits. Applications are not limited to these two sectors, however. General Electric (GE), Walmart (WMT), and others have joined the rush to create proprietary blockchain applications.

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Jim Sinegal does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.