Blockchain, not Bitcoin, is the future of cryptocurrency

For months, everyone from policymakers to financial experts has been fascinated by the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and the underlying technology: the blockchain.

The blockchain is essentially a decentralized digital ledger that contains every transaction in the chain’s history and is continuously updated. It is used by almost every cryptocurrency and is seen as a potential disruptive force in financial markets. The most famous application of the blockchain is Bitcoin, which has seen its value explode in the last year. But while Bitcoin’s growth has been making a splash, it has quietly been losing ground in the cryptocurrency market.

Worcester’s wage winners

The Worcester finance industries’ average wage has increased 31 percent since the financial crisis of 2007-8, more than twice Worcester’s overall wage growth and three times its fastest-growing employment sector: health and education services. But the number of financial sector jobs has not kept pace with labor force growth.

Despite Worcester County adding 72,000 jobs overall in the last 25 years, there are the same amount of finance jobs today as there were in 1992. Both Massachusetts and U.S. financial industry statistics also show large wage growth with little employment growth.

Finance has been evolving along with technology.

Creating and destroying

In 1990, roughly one in four Worcester County jobs were producing goods in the manufacturing sector, while one in 10 were providing services in education and health care. In the years since, educational and health services have taken over as the largest provider of jobs in the county — and manufacturing has tumbled by 50 percent.

“2nd Look” — how Clinton and Trump fared, town-by-town, in McGovern’s district [chart]

2016 presidential election results in the 2nd Massachusetts district, which comprises 63 cities and towns in Central and Western Mass.  City / town
Clinton
Trump

Amherst
12,030
1,233

Athol
2,074
2,329

Auburn
4,408
3,936

Barre
1,201
1,429

Belchertown
4,366
3,140

Bellingham
4,027
4,056

Blackstone
1,850
2,327

Boylston
1,422
1,124

Deerfield
1,942
767

Douglas
1,780
2,685

Erving
389
289

Gill
579
259

Grafton
5,333
3,872

Greenfield
5,546
2,094

Hadley
2,121
864

Hardwick
565
708

Hatfield
1,278
659

Holden
5,553
4,602

Hubbardston
1,039
1,373

Leicester
2,422
2,825

Leominster
9,793
8,180

Leverett
996
185

Mendon
1,528
1,694

Millbury
3,138
3,432

Millville
624
874

Montague
2,858
1,094

New Braintree
246
326

New Salem
337
208

North Brookfield
906
1,413

Northampton
13,200
1,870

Northborough
5,085
2,959

Northbridge
3,376
3,939

Northfield
1,013
533

Oakham
435
633

Orange
1,482
1,540

Oxford
2,736
3,572

Palmer
2,475
3,083

Paxton
1,204
1,194

Pelham
738
98

Petersham
416
312

Phillipston
374
550

Princeton
1,183
898

Royalston
313
321

Rutland
2,020
2,343

Shrewsbury
10,501
6,786

Shutesbury
976
142

Spencer
2,265
3,044

Sterling
2,136
2,302

Sunderland
1,351
387

Sutton
2,287
2,881

Templeton
1,507
2,051

Upton
2,284
1,808

Uxbridge
3,254
3,694

Ware
1,852
2,189

Warwick
271
142

Webster
3,110
3,570

Wendell
402
104

West Boylston
2,137
1,837

West Brookfield
865
1,008

Westborough
5,911
2,721

Whately
582
328

Winchendon
1,787
2,310

Worcester
42,534
17,634

Total
202,413
136,760