Blockchain Will Change the World

Blockchain is revolutionary for the FinTech sector.

Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic author of “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, demonstrated uncommon thinking in pioneering the concept of a “peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server” to solve the double spending problem. More simply, Nakamoto proposed a system that allows peer-to-peer electronic exchange without a central coordinating authority (such as an automated clearing house) resulting in a distributed, open source ledger. Today, this unique ledger system is most commonly deployed through the “blockchain.”

Blockchain technology stands ready to change the world as we know it. While Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency “Bitcoin” continues to command public fascination, blockchain technology is quietly preparing to upend global trade, finance, politics, healthcare and all manner of public and private record keeping. Don’t believe me? Check out this video and see for yourself. For those working in financial technology (“FinTech”) industries, this comes as a welcome development. FinTech leaders have been working hard over the last few years to raise the public perception of blockchain by detangling it from Bitcoin. If you are still unsure of the difference, you are not alone. Read this PWC article for a complete picture.

 Blockchain evangelism is driven, in part, by the perceived value blockchain will have in a variety of industries, chief among them financial services. But it is also in response to stepped up cryptocurrency oversight. For example, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has asserted regulatory authority over cryptocurrencies since the 2015 Coinflip settlement, and continues to do so with actions as recent as January 2018. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has also brought several enforcement actions against cryptocurrency operations, principally as “investment contracts.” In 2017 for example, the SEC filed complaints related to initial coin offerings for anti-fraud and registration violations.

Authorities on blockchain worry cryptocurrency oversight could chill the growth of legitimate blockchain technology. Fortunately, regulators also seem aware that their presence could have an impact on this nascent FinTech market. In an effort to encourage legitimate blockchain and FinTech development, the CFTC is actively cultivating innovation through their Lab CFTC sandbox. This should serve as a positive signal to FinTech entrepreneurs seeking to develop new blockchain applications and services.

 So what are the takeaways?

  • First, it is important to logically separate cryptocurrency from the underlying blockchain technology. Jamie Dimon, for example, calls Bitcoin a “fraud” but invests in blockchain technology.
  • Second, prepare for blockchain to integrate in all manner of electronic transactions in the medium-term. If you watched the video earlier, imagine blockchain applied to coffee beans, organic produce, or other staple commodities that command a premium for select sourcing and fair trade. Blockchain can ensure you are actually getting what you believe you are paying for.
  • Third, for those seeking a career in blockchain, Kansas City offers a blockchain boot camp and is home to some exciting blockchain startups, such as CubeMonk.
  • Finally, don’t blink: the blockchain future is starting right now and is set to disrupt industries at lightning speed.



Reece Clark, '13 MBA

Reece Clark, '13 MBA