(This article is also published in Computerworld Hong Kong on December 14, 2016)
Blockchain is finally getting the attention it deserves. From left to right: Sheila Lam (Computerworld Hong Kong), Larry Campbell (KPMG China), Bob Crozier (AIA Edge), and Ian Mitchell (IBM).
Often confused with bitcoin, a cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology, blockchain itself offers more promises than digital currency. It is also changing the fundamentals of finance.
Understanding the blockchain promise
Before blockchain, most technological advances improved or streamlined transactions and interactions. But they still follow traditional business rules and practices. For example, most companies keep their ledgers for protection against fraud and tampering.
Although well founded, it has traditionally made asset ownership and transfer inefficient. However, this solution worked in a world where trust was not a commodity.
Blockchain aims to change this; it makes trust a commodity leveraging cryptographic technology, transparency and business networks. It does this by encapsulating trust in a shared ledger that is transparent to every participant, and permanently recording all transactions in chronological order.
In a recent panel discussion organized by IBM, industry experts and observers noted that this makes blockchain a potential industry game changer.
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A banking license is no longer a guarantee to print money. After years of ultra-low interest rates, increasing demands from regulatory and compliance, and cost-cutting measures, yields are not returning meaningful results.
The ever present 24 hour banking scene, and the convenience of out of branch servicing, has led to the anonymous and unaccountable network services center model that has a tangibly negative impact on client satisfaction. This model has also increased the public awareness of service standards, and service impact, while not increasing yields or customer growth. Being the incumbent players in the world of financial commerce, the banking industry has long established processes and procedures that have enabled efficiencies and structure within the established industry. But new players are not burdened by this legacy and are embarking on disruptive technology that offers niche services targeted at high volume highly profitable services.
Small wonder then that customers are increasingly turning to services offered by financial technology companies to fulfill their commoditized service needs.
Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”
英國初創企業 Everledger 最近利用 IBM 針對區塊鏈開發的軟硬件技術，發展出一套分佈式鑽石身份記錄系統，為鑽石賦予全球性的「名份」。日後即使個別系統被攻陷，電子竊賊竄改鑽石記錄，其他系統都能察覺，防患未然，為鑽石以至未來其他奢侈品，例如名畫等，提供前所未有的安全保障。
Blockchain continues to be a hot topic among businesses in Hong Kong. On November 11, TVB Pearl Money Magazine aired another Blockchain story that discusses how the new technology will revolutionize the logistics industry and make the Internet of Things more secure. IBM subject matter expert Iqbal AliKhan is again featured as one of the speakers. The full program can be viewed at here.
On October 21 Friday, Hong Kong’s TVB Pearl Money Magazine aired a feature program that looks at potential of Blockchain to transform the banking industry. In the program, Iqbal AliKhan, Strategy and Business Development Executive for the Global Payment Industry & Blockchains at IBM, was interviewed, and discussed why “permissioned” Blockchain is needed for secure transactions among banks.
The full program can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2evY15O