Blockchain today might be like the internet in 1993: a decade from now, you’ll wonder how society ever functioned without it, even though most of us barely know what it is today.
Some fascinating blockchain sprouts are poking through these days, such as one company that lets anyone act as a bank teller and another that could tell you every person who has ever owned a particular diamond—a handy way to make sure you don’t wear a ring that helped finance the civil war in Sierra Leone. Still other blockchain concepts could challenge Uber and Facebook down the road.
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Robin Whalen of CMA’s Digital Marketing Council writes about the blockchain and Blockchain Revolution:
Think of it this way: The first generation of the Internet was made for moving and storing information. The second generation is finally upon us and the Blockchain is at the heart of this era as Tapscott explains. Up until recently, when you sent someone information via the net or conducted a financial transaction, for example, you were really only sending a copy of the transaction, not the original. The Blockchain changes this via cryptocurrency. And cryptocurrency is not controlled by government.
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Daniel Roberts writes on Yahoo!Finance:
In case you haven’t heard, blockchain is all the rage lately on Wall Street, whereas bitcoin, the digital currency that blockchain came along with in 2009, is suddenly very uncool.
Blockchain, by the way, is the decentralized, peer-to-peer, open-source, distributed ledger technology that underlies bitcoin. (Check out our video explainer on blockchain.) The bitcoin blockchain is just one use case of the technology; lately the idea of utilizing the same technology, apart from cryptocurrency, has become popular. As Bloomberg’s Matt Levine wrote earlier this month, “If you are any sort of self-respecting financial or finance-adjacent professional these days, you had better be inserting the word ‘blockchain’ into random sentences to prove that you’re up to speed.”
Indeed, banks and financial services have certainly hopped aboard the blockchain train. But behind public press releases about initiatives and blockchain experimentation, executives at these companies differ greatly in their thinking on the technology and their faith in it.
Father-and-son team Don and Alex Tapscott, both business strategy consultants, have a new book out today called “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World.” A more apt title might hedge that the technology “could” change the world, but the book makes a convincing case for why blockchains might revolutionize the financial sector. (And many other sectors, but for now, the excitement is starting with finance.) For their research, the Tapscotts spoke to numerous people in banking.
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