Block Chain = the New Disruptor?

Most people see Bitcoin and Crypto as a gamble, possibly a bubble? It’s not about that for the IT industry, it’s about the opportunity and threat of Blockchain……

In the excellent video below, even the biggest sceptic can’t fail to be convinced of the merits of blockchain. I urge you to make a cup of tea and take 18 minutes out of your day to watch it, it’s entertaining, engaging and not technical – it is an eye opener and thought provoker!

Blockchain is essentially about decentralisation and the Internet of Value. In one example the video talks about a market that is $600bln USD per year, that’s the amount of foreign remittances from workers abroad sending money home; the example given from Canada to Manila. Assuming an exchange rate differential and a fee the companies like Western Union make around 10-15% on these trades – a whopping $60-$90bln USD! (gross).

What’s more, when we think about it, the grandma in Manilla is being deprived of 15% of her absent child’s gift. On a $1,000 USD remittance, that equates to $150USD. That’s also $150 USD that stays within the US GDP number. By using Abra the transaction is concluded within minutes and the fee is around 2%. What that does is put $130 dollars in the pocket of grandma, increasing her standard of living whilst boosting the local economy.

It also provides a secure, direct service without intermediaries – now here’s the rub for the IT industry…… in this new world, the requirement for all the systems we design, implement and support for industries that currently service commercial, financial, banking (the list is endless) may well be threatened by Blockchain? I am not suggesting for one moment that it will replace it, it will certainly complement existing Cloud and Utility computing models, but with the inclusion of a distributed ubiquitous ledger and the ability to write smart contracts, a voting system, property ownership records, it sounds like utility utopia and a significant change in our landscape.

Organisations and governments are already involved with a number of projects around the world (chasing cheaper power sources, cooler climates, renewable energy) with significant backing and scale, and its very early days but something worth a thought in this constant cycle of change and opportunity.

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