Getting to grips with Blockchain

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Jonathan Greenstein

American football playing individual|Patriots fan|Aspiring author & blogger|Thinks of himself as a bit of an entrepreneur|Ever hungry mind that is always willing to share|All round swell guy | Twitter - @J_Greenstein

I am a millennial that struggles to understand technology fully. I love that it works and find how it works fascinating but lack the proper understanding around the underpinning technology. Now, it’s almost every day that I read in the FT or CityAM something on Blockchain. As I am talking from the perspective of someone who is not technologically minded, Blockchain seems to be lauded as an all-encompassing technological advancement that will work across multiple industries.

So what does this mean for banks?

I feel I am safe in saying that, in recent times, fewer technologies have had as much attention as Blockchain has. This is the technology the underpins Bitcoin. From what I have learnt, this technology has complex cryptography and distributed ledgers that regulate, record and enable transactions using Bitcoin. I feel that last sentence was a bit jargon heavy. In plain English… when it comes to banks, Blockchain offers the opportunity to potentially slash costs by removing the need for middlemen. This would eliminate a large amount of manual processing and as a result, would speed up transactions.

It was announced recently that The Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the body that operates both the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchanges, has been developing a Blockchain based platform for capital markets. At the moment, it is in the proof-of-concept stage but they are looking to release their app in April this year. As mentioned above, The Japan Exchange Group is hoping to leverage on Blockchains advances in distributed ledger technology to speed up transactions.

Well this is all well and good…

Bringing this article back to British shores, the British Banking Association recently ran a workshop entitled Blockchain 101. Delivered by Applied Blockchain, the workshop aimed to teach attendees what this technology is, how it works and why the technology is causing such a stir in the industry at the moment. To top it off, they helped those in attendance look at how their firms could leverage Blockchain technology. Best of all (especially for people like myself), the workshop was jargon free.

If you want to read more about this technology, you can read a great blog by Imran Gulamhuseinwala on the BBA website… Blockchain and capital markets – navigating the regulatory and legal landscape.

Help me!

I started off this article saying, ‘I am a millennial that struggles to understand technology fully’, and its painfully true. If I have made any mistakes regarding Blockchain in this article, please don’t be shy when it comes to correcting me. Using the comment box below and let me know if I made any mistakes etc. Alternately, if you have interesting stories about Blockchain or any other fascinating tech for that matter, please also let everyone know in the comment boxes below.

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Jonathan Greenstein

American football playing individual|Patriots fan|Aspiring author & blogger|Thinks of himself as a bit of an entrepreneur|Ever hungry mind that is always willing to share|All round swell guy | Twitter - @J_Greenstein

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