The new “blockchain technology” behind Bitcoin and many financial innovations is now getting patented, and a Hudson County man is one of the first in the nation to get a patent on the new technology.

Eric Dixon of North Bergen is one of four men to invent a system and method for configurable blockchains. A blockchain is a distributed peer to peer ledger which stores records, including transactions. According to a search of the Patent and Trademark Office database, only three awarded patents even mention “blockchain technology,” and one of them was filed by Dixon.

So what can this technology do? “A blockchain can protect your privacy and preserve what we call the “original state” of your records so you don’t have to trust strangers,” explained Dixon, a Yale Law School-trained lawyer.

“Right now, your personal information is up for grabs by any $10-an-hour customer service rep, who can get your file with a few keystrokes,” Dixon says. “No wonder we have so much identity theft and destroyed reputations,” he continued, pointing to “a generation of people who can’t tell what’s real and what’s fake, or they don’t care!”

But aren’t there laws against stealing personal information? “Oh, sure!” Dixon exclaims. “But most people don’t think they’ll get caught. It’s ‘catch me if you can.’ So you hope the people working for that big company, or your doctor, or even at the DMV, aren’t crooks. But we have hacking and data breaches we didn’t have ten, twenty years ago and you have to wonder why.”

So why would a blockchain make us safer?

“It can keep a perfect record of system activity, and it can’t be changed,” Dixon says. “It is perfect for storing government records, medical records or even running elections,” says Dixon, who says he and his clients have been “talking seven days a week to interested corporate and even government officials.”

Dixon, who is involved with several blockchain ventures in New York and New Jersey, warns that, “If you haven’t spoken with us, the reality is, your competitor has.”