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How blockchains could change the world

Blockchains an open-source distributed database using state-of-the-art cryptography facilitate collaboration and tracking of all kinds of transactions and interactions. Blockchain Technology is Changing Money, Business, and the World, we believe the technology could offer genuine privacy protection and a platform for truth and trust. Everyone’s a participant, not an inert recipient. This has an awesome neutrality. It will be what we want it to be, and we can craft a much more egalitarian, prosperous society where everyone gets to share in the wealth that they create. Lots of great things have happened, but overall the benefits of the digital age have been asymmetrical. For example, we have this great asset of data that’s been created by us, and yet we don’t get to keep it. It’s owned by a tiny handful of powerful companies or governments. They monetize that data or, in the case of governments, use it to spy on us, and our privacy is undermined.

Its a second generation of the Internet that enabled the true, peer-to-peer exchange of value? At the moment if we need to send some money to somebody else, we have to go through an intermediary a bank, a credit-card company or I need a government to authenticate who I am and who you are. Imagine if we could do that peer to peer,  blockchain has enabled us to do transactions, to do commerce, to exchange money, without a powerful third party.

 

Several years ago, an unknown person or persons named Satoshi Nakamoto came up with the Bitcoin protocol. Once again, the technology genie has been unleashed from its bottle. It gives us another kick at the can, another go, to try and rethink the economic power grid and the old order of things. That, to me, is how big this is. It feels like 1993. Blockchain is basically a distributed database. It’s open source, so anyone can change the underlying code, and they can see what’s going on. It’s truly peer to peer; it doesn’t require powerful intermediaries to authenticate or to settle transactions.

It uses state-of-the-art cryptography, so if we have a global, distributed database that can record the fact that we’ve done this transaction, what else could it record? Well, it could record any structured information, not just who paid whom but also who married whom or who owns what land or what light bought power from what power source. In the case of the Internet of Things, we’re going to need a blockchain-settlement system underneath. Banks won’t be able to settle trillions of real-time transactions between things.

So this is an extraordinary thing. An immutable, unhackable distributed database of digital assets. This is a platform for truth and it’s a platform for trust. The implications are staggering, not just for the financial-services industry but also right across virtually every aspect of society.

Most blockchains are what you call permission less systems.  Where we can do transactions and satisfy each other’s economic needs without knowing who the other party is and independent from central authorities. These blockchains all have a digital currency associated with them, which is why everybody talks about Bitcoin in the same breath as the blockchain, because the Bitcoin blockchain is the biggest. Whereas blockchain, the underlying technology, is the biggest innovation in computer science—the idea of a distributed database where trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than through a powerful institution that does the authentication and the settlement.

This blockchain is running across countless numbers of computers. If any one would have to commit fraud in the light of the most powerful computing resource in the world, not just for that ten-minute block but for the entire history of commerce, on a distributed platform. This is not practically feasible. The most important thing that we focus on in our work, is the much bigger question, this underlying, distributed-database technology that enables us to have a truthful and immutable record of everything.

How disruption can occur.  The financial services industry is up for serious disruption or transformation, depending on how it approaches this issue. Based on our research we identified eight different things that the industry does: it moves money, it stores money, it lends money, it trades money, it attests to money, it accounts for money, and so on. Every one of those can be challenged. Blockchain technology holds huge potential to disrupt any industry, and this it, creating a more prosperous world where people get to participate in the value that they create.

Blockchain building blocks for enterprise

Supply Chain

Blockchain technologies are trust and transparency machines. This is a feature sorely lacking in global supply chains. Blockchain technology offers the promising of increased transparency and provenance to the global supply chain. In the future, every single product will have a clear record of its history and verifiable authenticity.

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Asset Management

Blockchain technology can help to improve the efficiency and services of government. Blockchain technologies can be applied in every area of government – identity services, inland revenue, company formation and land registration. Having transparency in government services offers the promise of reduced corruption, stronger land and property rights, efficient taxation, and sovereign personal identity.

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Identity Management

Blockchain technology gives control back to you. On the internet, siloed, walled gardens lock up your personal data. This means it’s next to impossible to port your data if you want to leave or to gain visibility into what is stored where. Blockchain technology enables sovereign personal data, a new way to manage your identity, medical records, and credentials.

Cryptography

Cryptography ensures authentication and verifiable transactions. The design imperative regarding the inclusion of cryptography is focused on the computational hardness assumption and making it harder to break by any adversarial process in the distributed system. The economic incentive and the system design of bitcoin blockchain makes this interesting, and the cryptographic considerations change when translated into a less democratic or permissioned ledger network.

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Innovation has been on the corporate radar for many years, but today it’s integral to businesses’ ability to transform themselves for the digital age. Multiple revolutions are happening at the same time, each reinforcing one another including multi-sided globalisation, financialization that increases business fluidity, sustainability constraints exacerbated by demographic shifts, bringing digital revolution. After powering business and people, information technologies are now going the last mile: digitizing things. This revolution will transform the way we interact connect and live _________________________ for ever, marking a definitive step into the digital era.

Research and Insights