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I understand bitcoin uses blockchain technology to maintain a decentralised ledger of all transactions. I have also read many posts eluding to future applications of blockchain technology, none of which have been very clear to me.

Is blockchain technology simply a decentralised database with consensus validation of the data? If this was the case surely the db would grow to be too large to be effectively decentralised?

To help me understand, can anyone point me to a clear example of a non-bitcoin blockchain application?

Thanks in advance.

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It will be wrong to say that blockchain is just a decentralized database. There is much more to the blockchain. Although the original bitcoin blockchain only allowed the transfer of values and that too with limited data per transaction, a lot many blockchain networks have been developed in recent years. And as a matter of fact, these new blockchain networks enable and feature advanced native scripting and programming capabilities. 

There are many other blockchains other than the bitcoin blockchain. These include Ethereum, Corda, Ripple, and Hyperledger. To answer your question, I can ask you to consider Ethereum. Ethereum can be used to create Smart Contracts that in fact run in a decentralized manner. There is no central administrator.

Also, Ripple, Hyperledger, and Corda bring in many things other than simply transferring values. Ripple aims at accelerating payments and Hyperledger, and Corda is built to enable permissoned and permission-less blockchains for solving issues including scalability, privacy, and identity. 

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