Changes in financial technology were a major theme at the recent DLD NYC conference, starting with presentations from Alex and Don Tapscott on blockchain technology.
Alex Tapscott began with a primer on blockchain technology and how it was different than most Internet technologies. In most cases, the Internet is about sending copies of information, but that’s not true for currency. “It’s ok to have a printing press for documents, but not for money,” he said.
In order to make money work, we need to establish trust and set identities. Today, this means relying on intermediaries such as banks, credit card companies, Google, or Apple, which sit in the middle of our transactions. These do a good job but have some weaknesses: a centralized approach that can be attacked, the amount of money they earn or tax on the entire system, an ability to capture data which could impact privacy, and the fact that 2.5 billion people worldwide don’t use bank accounts.