Using blockchain, the technology underlying Bitcoin, every device in the world will be able to conduct transactions with every other. People and businesses will be able to do international transaction immediately, at trivial cost, rather than having to wait for days and pay hefty fees to banks.

[Ripple founder] Chris Larsen imagines that the technology could go far beyond accommodating financial transactions among people and eventually enable self-driving cars to pay for tolls, parking and fuel without the help of humans. Home energy meters with ledgers might buy different sources of energy. Jet engines could record the installation of new parts and pay for maintenance on the spot.

This is the first time I’ve seen a potential use for blockchain that seems practical. Until now it’s always seemed to me to be a classic case of a technology solution with no problem to solve.

Ripple Aims to Put Every Transaction on One Ledger [Quentin Hardy – The New York Times]

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