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Blockchain: Is it the future of FinTech?

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  • Blockchain: Is it the future of FinTech?

    Blockchain is poised for adoption if it can fix one issue: immutability of each transaction.

    Blockchain might seem like a technology that is far from mass adoption by organisations around the world. Contrary to this belief, it is very much a real-world tool people are adopting and using. Companies are gunning to find a form of native digital trading that does not require physical world confirmations to prove validity

    Take insurance, for example. Companies like Guardtime provide ledgers that digitise and automate processes in the commercial insurance industry, improving the speed and accuracy of settlements and claims. In FOREX, companies like Cobalt have adapted blockchain technology to enable faster trading and more precise settlement of trades. Blockchain is definitely useful, but it is being adapted in different ways to help improve processes, it is not a singular solution to all Fintech problems.

    Trusting hash ledgers

    Blockchain’s system of encryption and linking of data into chains of events that cannot be edited or copied offers that potential. At blockchain’s heart is the concept of a hash ledger. The entries in the ledger are immutable and it is distributed so it is held independently by many parties. If the ledger entries are changed, or the sequence of the entries is changed, the hash codes don’t match. So, you end up with databases that everyone can trust.

    Hash ledgers can be attached to legacy systems relatively easily. You can add a hash ledger that records the data generated by the existing system, and that data is then trustable. There is no need to throw out the old system. For example, Cobalt has stripped down the amount of data that needs to be attached to a trade to give it a unique ID, so that Forex trades can happen at speed, but now the individual trades are much easier to identity, track and settle.

    Is blockchain here to replace conventional contracts?

    Replacing conventional contracts with one that lives on the blockchain might seem like the natural aspiration to have. However, it is unlikely that blockchain contracts will replace conventional contracts until a way can be found to efficiently mimic the qualities of conventional contracts, that make them reliable documents of record that cannot be disputed or easily falsified. Qualities such as the time and place of execution and the unique identities of participants.

    One of the biggest barriers to the adoption of blockchain is that people think the technology is a tremendously complicated, compute-intensive cryptocurrency system, when it is in fact a simple mechanism to enable data to be trusted. Once that is understood, the potential applications become quite clear. We.trade, for example, was set up by a consortium of major banks to facilitate cross-border trade and settlements. . The biggest challenge for practical adoption is for everyone to agree on a common standard they wish to use, test it delivers efficiencies over what it will replace, and that it is sufficiently secure for the bank and its customers.

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  • #2
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