TECHTalks on Blockchain: what will the future hold?
The business of banking is undergoing massive transformation. What will the future hold for banks and the financial sector as a whole? To discover what disruptions we can expect in the near future, this TECHTalks invited an innovation leader from ABN AMRO, together with two distinguished Blockchain experts to speak about these developments.
The impact of disruption
Early December, Deloitte Cyber Advisory hosted the third edition of TECH Talks at The Edge. During this TED Talk inspired event, Frans Cuppen of ABN AMRO, Rutger van Zuidam of DutchChain, and Jacob Boersma of Deloitte elaborated on the ways in which new financial technologies may disrupt the financial sector. They explored the possible impact of these new technologies and shared their vision on the future of traditional financial institutions, whilst paying attention to the significance of these developments for information security.
Frans Cuppen kicked off the event with his talk on the current and future state of FinTech, and banking in general. He emphasized the required changes in banking and the need for innovation in general. He further argued that the challenges large organizations face should not be underestimated, after which he openly discussed the struggle many big banks find themselves in.
“Around 75% of current businesses will be replaced by new firms in 2027”
More than just cryptocurrency
Rutger van Zuidam took the audience on an interesting Blockchain journey, exploring the use of Blockchain in daily situations. He showed the seemingly limitless possibilities of Blockchain technology, and how businesses should look further then just cryptocurrency. He pointed out there is an underlying need for ecosystem solutions and new ways of collaborations that extend beyond the organizations we know today, to conclude that with this technology we are able to build a better operating system for our society and economy. As stated: the possibilities are vast, and through this talk the audience was able to think beyond the obvious and challenged to think of Blockchain solutions themselves.
Risks of human involvement
Jacob Boersma, with his information security expertise, was able to view the Blockchain from a different perspective. Blockchain technology itself is secure, it is when people build applications on top of the Blockchain network that vulnerabilities can appear. An example of this is the hack on the DAO, an application built on Ethereum, where 56 million US dollar was stolen. However, it is also very interesting to see what happened after this hack. The majority of the Ethereum community reached consensus that a rollback (hard fork) should be initiated which voided the ‘hacked’ transactions. Although this goes against the principle of immutability of the Blockchain, it does show how a majority of the network can jointly make decisions that are deemed in the interest of the community and can mitigate misuse by malevolent actors. He argued that even though Blockchain is secure, it is currently only as secure as the applications that are built on it and the people using them.
Looking back at the event and all the information that was provided about Blockchain, the feeling emerged that this development might be as significant as the rise of the internet some decades ago. However, attendees did conclude that Blockchain and applications on Blockchain need to mature before it can be widely adopted and accepted by organizations and governmental institutions.
The next TECH Talk event in the spring of 2017 will focus on artificial intelligence. If you would you like to join us or to be kept up-to-date, please follow the Deloitte LinkedIn page for news on the fourth edition of TECHTalks. Would you like to have more information on this event or blockchain? Please contact Jelle Niemantsverdriet or visit our Blockchain page.