Are these nine startups the next big thing in blockchain?

Blockchain technology has been a fast-rolling snowball this year, and as VentureBeat reported earlier, the potential is enormous in areas as diverse as finance, manufacturing and healthcare — just last week, IBM announced it’s going all-in on blockchain. For the uninitiated, blockchain is a universal digital currency that could change our lives as radically as the internet. In short, Blockchain provides an open, decentralized database that allows the transaction of anything of value (money, property, goods, or work). It essentially offers a secure, direct line between payer and payee, and in its adoption, traditional intermediaries will be bypassed. Read more: