The Economist explains the difference between bitcoin and blockchains. The article argues that bitcoin's underlying blockchain technology, not the currency, has the potential to transform and change our lives. The Economist explained that, "Bitcoin itself may never be more than a curiosity. However blockchains have a host of other uses because they meet the need for a trustworthy record, something vital for transactions of every sort."
The spread of blockchains is bad for anyone in the “trust business”—the centralised institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions. Even as some banks and governments explore the use of this new technology, others will surely fight it. But given the decline in trust in governments and banks in recent years, a way to create more scrutiny and transparency could be no bad thing. Drawing up regulations for blockchains at this early stage would be a mistake: the history of peer-to-peer technology suggests that it is likely to be several years before the technology’s full potential becomes clear. In the meantime regulators should stay their hands, or find ways to accommodate new approaches within existing frameworks, rather than risk stifling a fast-evolving idea with overly prescriptive rules.