Blockchain. The underlying technology of bitcoin (which really brought it into the public arena and consciousness) will become the very core of the finance industry.
That's the outcome of a really interesting paper from the World Economic Forum this month linked to below.
One really good takeaway thought from the report is that Blockchain is not the silver bullet itself to the future tech needs of the finance system, but rather forms part of a toolbox of transformative technologies (some with us already - such as biometrics and cloud computing - some still in the R&D phase, such as AI and robotics).
This toolbox will shape what our future financial services system looks like, how we interact with it, how it responds to our needs and how it protects what we give to it.
However, to coin a phrase, with 'change comes great responsibility'. The report therefore also touches on some of the key challenges facing financial services companies as these technologies are rolled out, including development at a time of:
- growing emphasis on data transparency and security (so customer awareness around the technology, how they can use it and what they need to be aware of is important);
- a growing influence and threat of cyber security (so avoiding security gaps is crucial); and
- need for the law and regulation to adapt and change to the speed to technology growth and innovation.
Interesting times ahead. Well worth a read.
"Rather than stay at the margins of the finance industry, blockchain will become the beating heart of it," says Giancarlo Bruno, head, financial services industries, World Economic Forum