According to an article by the WSJ, Blockchain is, for all intents and purposes, a Secure Database, or ledger, spread across multiple computers. The function of this ledger is to provide everyone involved in an industry or project access to the same records of all transactions. “Crypto” (short for Cryptography, the art of writing codes) ensures the security for each individual to interact and provides a fixed record of every interaction. Another definition from Forbes, is simply that Blockchain is an open ledger shared between business partners that is transparent and indelible.
The power of Blockchain, supposed by WSJ, can bring vital updates to certain industries. Think of the capabilities Blockchain can offer Real Estate; transferring titles, Trade; Shipping Vessels, Mapping the Origins of Conflict Materials, Guaranteeing Food Safety. A big reason to adopt Blockchain technology in the same way we have adopted Cloud Technology is the fact that Blockchain does not suffer from the "Collective Action Problem" (that conflicting interests deter the cooperation between individuals of a group) most industries face when making multilateral changes.
This technology is certainly still in its infancy. To see the future of such technology is going to require imaginative and problem solving programming that is customized to the industry, company, or groups and what they most need to track. At this point the conversation about Blockchain is just that. When we start seeing real world applications of such technology we will begin to understand more of its possibilities and short falls.