|Blockchain: Emerging Technology Offers Benefits for Some Applications but Faces Challenges|
Blockchain combines several technologies to provide a trusted, tamper-resistant record of transactions by multiple parties without a central authority such as a bank. Blockchain can be used for a variety of financial and non-financial applications, including cryptocurrency, supply chain management, and legal records. GAO found that blockchain is useful for some applications but limited or even problematic for others. For example, because of its tamper resistance, it may be useful for applications involving many participants who do not necessarily trust each other. But it may be overly complex for a few trusted users, where traditional spreadsheets and databases may be more helpful. Blockchain may also present security and privacy challenges and can be energy-intensive.