Fortune: How Blockchain Will Shake Up the Financial World

Alex Tapscott at Goldman Sachs

Some of the world’s largest businesses are growing more and more interested in blockchain. In particular, Facebook’s Libra announcement signalled a coming surge of enterprise interest in crypto-assets, especially among tech firm. Alex Tapscott breaks down all this and more in his feature interview with Fortune Magazine, promoting the upcoming book Financial Services Revolution.

Read the full interview here:

Financial Post: Facebook’s Libra, for all its promise, faces an uphill battle

Facebook’s recent announcement that it will create its own cryptocurrency, called “Libra” has shaken not just the world of blockchain, but finance and technology giants around the world. The crypto wars have begun in earnest. On Wall Street. And Washington. Buckle up.

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Computerworld: Blockchain expert Alex Tapscott sees coming crypto war as ‘cataclysmic’

Many large companies have taken steps to embrace blockchain, but Facebook’s plans for a cryptocurrency and digital wallet has prompted government oversight committees to call for hearings and may have banks taking another look at the distributed ledger technology.

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Venture Beat Interview: Taking Stock of the Blockchain Revolution

Punditry runs in this family. Don Tapscott has been writing about business strategy for decades, doing everything from pontificating about Wikinomics to giving Ted Talks about the future of money. And now his son, Alex Tapscott, has joined the family business as a speaker, investor, writer, and adviser on emerging technologies. The younger Tapscott’s own Tedx Talk on blockchain has been viewed more than 630,000 times.

The Tapscotts are excited about the revolutionary potential of blockchain. It’s a 2018 phenomenon, but they are certainly not late to the party. In 2016, they coauthored The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World. The book has been a bestseller in a few countries and has been translated into 18 languages.

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How Canada can be a global leader in blockchain technology

This article outlines some of the conclusions from a 2016-17 research project conducted by the Tapscott Group on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and written by Don and Alex Tapscott. The full report is available here.

The first era of the Internet was based on information and content being available anywhere and any time. Now, the second era – powered by blockchain technology – is bringing us the Internet of value: a new, distributed platform that will help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger in which anything of value can be stored, ranging from money, stocks, bonds and intellectual property, to votes, art, music, loyalty points, carbon credits, health-care records and student accomplishments. Even our identities can be stored, transacted, communicated and managed securely and privately.

In addition to revolutionizing financial services, blockchain will be the foundation for integrating into our economy technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and robots. Governments will shift their computer systems to blockchain. Even the Canadian dollar could become a digital dollar based on blockchain.

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Blockchain Could Help Artists Profit More from Their Creative Works

Anyone who follows the cultural industries — art, music, publishing, theater, cinema — knows of the tussles between artists and those who feed off of their talents. The traditional food chain in movie-making, for example, is a long one: Between those who create a film and those who pay for it — movie goers, cable subscribers, pay-per-viewers, advertisers, rights licensees, and institutional sponsors such as the National Endowment for the Arts — is a multitude of middlemen: online retailers (Amazon, Walmart), streaming video services (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu), theatre venues (Wanda’s AMC, Regal, Cinemark), product placement and media agencies (Propaganda GEM, Omicom’s OMD), film producers (Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios, Disney-Pixar), movie distributors (Sony Pictures, Universal, Warner Bros.), home marketers (Fox, HBO), cable and satellite services (Comcast, DirectTV), video syndicators (PMI, TVS), film libraries and archives (Eastman House, Getty Images), and talent agencies (WME, CAA, ICM), each with its own contracts and accounting systems. That’s a staggeringly long list.

Each of these middlemen takes a cut of the revenues and passes along the rest, with the leftovers typically reaching the artists themselves months later, per the terms of their contracts.

Read the full article on HBR

How Blockchain Is Changing Finance

Our global financial system moves trillions of dollars a day and serves billions of people. But the system is rife with problems, adding cost through fees and delays, creating friction through redundant and onerous paperwork, and opening up opportunities for fraud and crime. To wit, 45% of financial intermediaries, such as payment networks, stock exchanges, and money transfer services, suffer from economic crime every year; the number is 37% for the entire economy, and only 20% and 27% for the professional services and technology sectors, respectively. It’s no small wonder that regulatory costs continue to climb and remain a top concern for bankers. This all adds cost, with consumers ultimately bearing the burden.

It begs the question: Why is our financial system so inefficient? First, because it’s antiquated, a kludge of industrial technologies and paper-based processes dressed up in a digital wrapper. Second, because it’s centralized, which makes it resistant to change and vulnerable to systems failures and attacks. Third, it’s exclusionary, denying billions of people access to basic financial tools. Bankers have largely dodged the sort of creative destruction that, while messy, is critical to economic vitality and progress. But the solution to this innovation logjam has emerged: blockchain.

Read the full article on HBR

The Muskoka Group Marks a Line in the Sand for Blockchain Stewardship

Blockchain is a radical and disruptive technology, at our service for another kick at the can—to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs for the better. If we will it. But technology is not a panacea and it does not create prosperity. People do. Only with the right leadership can we fulfil its promise.

In order for blockchain technology to reach its potential, the industry must first overcome a number of obstacles. To do so will require good governance and stewardship to maintain and advance ecosystem health. With that in mind, two weeks ago, Don Tapscott (my co-author) and I brought together leading figures from the industry in the hopes of laying a foundation for this nascent governance network and drawing a roadmap for the future.

Here are the Muskoka Group’s ten recommendations to create a thriving blockchain industry:

Read Alex’s full article on Forbes

Blockchain Democracy: Government Of The People, By The People, For The People

We live in a crisis-wracked world. “The once-heralded Arab Spring has given way almost everywhere to conflict and repression,” wrote Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Many governments have responded to the turmoil by downplaying or abandoning human rights,” using the Internet to spy on citizens, using drones to drop explosives on civilians, and imprisoning protesters at events like the Olympics.

That’s the wrong response, according to economist Hernando de Soto. “The Arab Spring was essentially and still is an entrepreneurial revolution, people who have been expropriated,” said de Soto. “Basically, it’s a huge rebellion against the status quo,” the systematic trampling of citizens’ rights until they have no choice but to work outside the system.

That’s where the blockchain comes in. Blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value – money, but also titles, deeds, identities, even votes – can be moved, stored and managed securely and privately– and where trust can be established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than by powerful intermediaries like governments and banks.

Read Alex’s full article on Forbes