Since the beginning of the internet, everything is becoming more and more digital. In 2008, the digital asset and payment system Bitcoin was introduced. Nowadays, it is a legal way for settling your accounts and many people use it in everyday life. However few people know the technology it relies on. This technology is called “blockchain” and the least you can say is that it is rather innovative.
A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger, combining a number of peer computers. These computers need to respond jointly to the same consensus process in order to release or record information. The ledger is trusted, public and shared. It can be inspected by everyone, but is controlled by no single user. As such, the blockchain becomes a branch of truth, preventing double spending while keeping track of transactions.
These blockchains can be created publicly or privately. For example: if banks decide to use a blockchain to exchange money, they could set up their own private blockchain, leading to faster exchanges than the ones that exist now. Even if a bank is not interested in using blockchain, they should look into the opportunities it gives to new players. Align Commerce for example makes it possible for small enterprises to bypass banks when making international payments.
The blockchain technology not only enables a currency without a central bank, it also has other possible uses outside the banking world. Think of smart contracts. These contracts use a blockchain to register who owns something of value, such as a house or a piece of art. When a sale occurs, the blockchain can notarise the documents by putting the new information into a public blockchain, making the role of a notary obsolete. Endorsements by some of the parties involved and other business rules can be implemented easily.
At RealDolmen, we can help our customers with looking into blockchain and implementing it. With some of them we are already exploring what is in it for them and how their business would benefit from this technology. When it comes to implementing, we do not only rely on our business clusters, but also on the support and knowledge of our partners such as Microsoft, who have announced their Blockchain As A Service platform. If you are interested in making blockchain work for your business, feel free to contact us at RealDolmen!
This blog post is the third post in a monthly series about IT in Financial Services.
More info: Raf Celis – Customer Executive Financial Services