Blockchain@UBC is a collaborative research cluster focusing on blockchain technology as one component of investigating the broader research question "How can emerging technologies be leveraged to benefit Canadians."

As an emerging technology, there is no universally agreed definition of the blockchain, but it is often described as a distributed ledger that maintains a continually growing list of publicly accessible records secured from tampering and revision. Over time, the blockchain is said to create a persistent, immutable, and ever-growing public ledger that continually updates to represent the latest state.

Since the launch of the first blockchain, Bitcoin, in 2009, innovation and investment in this technology has moved at a rapid pace. According to some sources, in 2014 and 2015 alone, more than $1 billion of venture capital was invested in the emerging blockchain ecosystem, and the rate of investment is almost doubling annually. Some even say that blockchain will follow the Internet in being the next, big transformative technology. With the current level of investment and new applications of the blockchain rolling out quickly, it is fair to say that this technology will likely have an enormous impact.