14 October 2015
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

Sibos 2015: blockchain not so disruptive after all

‘Disruptive’ technology is not a challenge to financial services but an opportunity, and could be recruited for the fight against cyber crime, according to Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings.

Speaking in the Big Issue debate at Sibos 2015, Masters suggested that the phrase ‘disruptive technology’ is over-used, saying that: “It’s important to define what we mean by disruptive.”

Referencing the demise of video rental service Blockbuster and rise of digital streaming service Netflix in the midst of the internet revolution, Masters argued that financial services should view this new digital revolution in a different way.

“There will be winners and losers,” she said, as well as newcomers to the market, however, old and new technology can work together to create market share, and this evolution can be beneficial, making the infrastructure stronger and offering participants the opportunity to better serve customers.

Technology such as blockchain can enable secure information sharing, said Masters, while encrypted digital IDs mean that shared data is not data “advertised at will”. It also allows for faster transactions and reduced costs, which ultimately minimises risk, meaning that regulators are leaning towards the prospect, despite initial security concerns.

One of the main benefits of blockchain is that is it actually more resilient to cyber attacks, and with business becoming increasingly international, technology is fuelling change, and it is “doing so in every corner of the globe”.

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