Saving the planet, fixing healthcare, replacing conventional currency—there is apparently nothing that the shared-database technology known as blockchains can’t fix.

At least, that’s the impression given by the horde of governments, banks, entrepreneurs, and tech companies working on the technology.

But what is a blockchain and why the excitement?

If you’ve got 2 minutes, WIRED can explain.

Chris Dixon, general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, thinks you should reconsider the power of bitcoin.

In conversation with WIRED’s Steven Levy, the tech entrepreneur and investor explains why the digital payment system has the potential to enable new behaviors and innovations.

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