Distributed Ledger Technology

Cite as: 4 GEO. L. TECH. REV. 673 (2020)

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is an emerging new spectrum of technologies focused on revolutionizing how data is stored.1 While often discussed in tandem with cryptocurrencies, not all DLTs are cryptocurrencies; instead the term DLT covers any approach to data storage across multiple ledgers.2 A ledger is a record of ownership and what is exchanged in transactions.3 The concept of a ledger is a foundational principle in modern economics with roots as far back as the 15th century.4 Traditionally, these records have been maintained in one centralized location, either with the government or with institutions such as banks and insurance companies.5 This
centralized system requires all citizens to place significant amounts of trust in these entities to ensure accurate documentation of ownership within a ledger. 6 Further, keeping the ledger in one place leaves it open to threats because it has a single point of failure for hackers and power outages. These centralized ledgers also create inefficiencies within transactions between parties.7

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Drew Diedrich

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. 2020; Cornell University, B.A. Government, 2017.