Last night in a plush Mayfair hotel, a group of financiers, technologists and lawyers joined to listen to a panel discussion about the future of Blockchain technology from the perspective of use cases, regulations, adoption, security and innovation.
This exciting technological innovation has the power to disrupt the financial services and yet, within a year they have responded en masse to progress from not wanting anything to do with bitcoin (oh hello Silk Road) to sponsoring conferences and revealing details of a proof-of-concept Blockchain. Although the financial services as a sector has witnessed other sectors be disrupted by the digitisation of goods, and seen incumbents crumble, I maintain this this is a quick reaction. In fact, this is the basis for my thesis for my MSc in Business Innovation:
Blockchain: an investigation into the reaction of the financial services sector to disruptive technology
Over the next ten months I will be studying the concept deeply, looking into some of the cryptographic and security aspects, looking at the way this technology has or will change business models and how new business models will emerge, and watching with some interest the reaction of the stakeholders, from regulators to entrepreneurs and everyone in between. I feel it important that this research take a realistic view of what is happening in the industry.
The panel is a far cry from some of the characters I came across when I first wrote about Bitcoin three years ago. I can see already that this will be a time with lively debate and ever-changing parameters. Despite the disagreements from the panellists on almost every point raised, the one point on which everyone agreed that this is an exciting time.
Thanks to an animated and well-informed panel last night: Jon Downing of Visa, Richard Levin of Bryan Cave, Jon Matonis of Bitcoin Foundation, Peter Randall of SETL, Nick Williamson of Credits and Edan Yago of Epiphyte.
Thanks also to The Mankcoff Company for hosting and curating the panel.