Beyond Blockchain: A Seminar on the Possible Future

Think of a technology-enabled phenomenon that leads to the creation of what is essentially a completely new medium that disrupts every kind of existing practice but entire industries. That’s surely the simplest way to describe the Internet itself, of course, but does it also apply to blockchain as a whole and Bitcoin in particular?

We’ve had a lot to say on the subject at this blog, but we’re also always open to hearing other voices. That’s why we found this seminar titled “Beyond Bitcoin: The future of blockchain and disruptive financial technologies,” (the video is now online), conducted earlier this year by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, so interesting, and we encourage you to take a look.

Hutchins functions as an independent and non-partisan analyst, drawing on the expertise of Brookings scholars and thought leaders in government, academia, think tanks and business. The participants in this event make for a really good mix because while each clearly has a vested interest in the field, from regulation to financial investments, none comes across as a cheerleader.  They are fully aware of both the potential and the pitfalls of blockchain operations, and they know the subtleties between what it is, what it could be, and what it might be. They know that many in the market see it as something between a fad and a fraud, and they inform more than they advocate.

The speakers are:

  • David Wessel (moderator): Director, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy
  • Michael Barr: Professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School; former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and a key force behind the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Brad Peterson: Executive VP and Chief Information Officer, NASDAQ
  • Barry Silbert: Founder and CEO, Digital Currency Group
  • Margaret Liu: SVP & Deputy General Counsel, Conference of State Bank Supervisors

Topics covered include:

  • The underlying benefits (and complications) of a distributed ledger foundation
  • Reaching beyond Bitcoin to explore other forms of crypto-currency
  • Crowdsourcing innovation to create and identify new channels for blockchain innovation
  • The high potential for cost-cutting
  • Enabling customers to retain ownership of their financial information while still maintaining deep relationships with financial services institutions
  • How to enhance security rather than compromise it, and
  • Regulatory differences between different states, regions and specific providers with different mandates.

Written by Jack Dougal

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