There is a great deal of interest in how cryptography and public key infrastructure combine with internet technologies to deliver powerful new business solutions based on the principles of distributed ledgers.
The math is complicated and operating effectively at the intersection of business and technology remains inaccessible for many. However, for those prepared to invest time in understanding the underlying principles, there are significant process improvement and business efficiency rewards available.
It reminds me of the nineties when evangelising the potential of the Internet to the most senior representatives of my financial services clients, when my forecasts focused on the likely impact of retail moving increasingly to the web and procurement becoming electronic (remember CoreProcure?) – put simply, efficient implementation of block chain solutions today mean to money what back then, email meant to post.
My crystal ball can get a little hazy at times however, Fintech startups are well onto this, with the block chain buzz created recently at Sibos Singapore reinforcing the reality that behind closed doors financial services organisations are hurrying to understand the implication of how block chain and distributed ledger technology is solving fundamental trust issues in correspondent banking models, upon which international trade finance and asset transfer solutions have been based for millennium. In my view, the role of the correspondent remains, however expectations of how it executes it’s responsibilities looks to be accelerating.
These are exciting times, with the World Economic forum publishing recently predictions reported in the Financial Times that up to $20b in costs could be removed from the application of this technology. see https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/11/how-will-blockchain-technology-transform-financial-services/
Australian Banking & Finance ran yesterday an article that quotes significantly from a PoV I’ve been forming around how this technology is being experimented with extensively by Financial Services organisations, in closed loop, to augment and re-engineer what are intrinsically inefficient bank process underpinning correspondent banking models today. see http://www.australianbankingfinance.com/banking/the-technology-that-knows-your-customers/
Whist the role of the correspondent is being re-thought, to my mind, malicious actors remain a problem with distributed public ledger premised solutions, however by securing the on and off ramps with regulatory compliant gateways, and building trusted networks of altruistic actors, then new solutions can be deployed at vastly reduced cost, that can accommodate self interested rational actors in a trusted model. These issues are given considerable thought in a white paper titled: A Protocol for Interledger Payments, http://interledger.org/ To understand a practical application of these principles its worth time reviewing the Earthport business model at http://www.earthport.com/
R3 and Ripple are today’s poster child of accessible solutions, with Ripple transitioning from #fintech disruptor to #fintech supplier. Ripple has recognised that by working collaboratively alongside incumbent industry participants, and understanding their strict compliance, ethical and trust drivers, unique solutions can be brought to market, with initial targets being cross currency settlement and FX Market Making activities (for banks). Promising instant, certain, low cost international payments is a very attractive proposition https://ripple.com/
Whatever the outcome and time frame, simplifying business process and gaining process efficiency lies at the heart of the transformation in #Digital #Banking and understanding use cases for block chain solutions provides the on-ramp to #acclerateDIGITAL #Transformation