Despite cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise in the past fifteen months, it seems that somehow a more valuable and prolific technology has arisen alongside it. It’s hard to imagine anything being more popular or important than a commodity that grew its collective cap from less than $20 billion to more than $850 billion in less than a year.
However, the blockchain – a decentralized accounting mechanism that allows digital currencies to thrive, is doing just that. It’s gaining notoriety as an extremely competent and innovative technology that may be the solution to problems plaguing the technological landscape.
In January, Steven Johnson argued in The New York Times Magazine, “The Bitcoin bubble may ultimately turn out to be a distraction from the true significance of the blockchain.” Of course, in writing this, Johnson is advocating more for the blockchain’s capability rather than proclaiming cryptocurrency’s insignificance.
Government leaders seem to agree. Despite some reservations about digital currencies, central governments are offering full-throated endorsements of blockchain technology. In their 2018 Joint Economic Report, a bipartisan Congressional committee heaped praise upon the blockchain describing it as ‘largely resistant to hacking’ and championing its applications across various industries.
Research and consulting firm, Deloitte, has developed a robust blockchain unit, tech Juggernauts Microsoft, IBM, and Intel are pursuing blockchain initiatives, and financial veterans Mastercard and JP Morgan are exploring new digital payment solutions using the blockchain. There are prominent use cases for the shipping industry, data security and transmissions, medical record keeping, and many others.
Interestingly, for all the talk of blockchain as a transformational technology, it hasn’t actually transformed anything yet. Upending an entire industry is a slow process. Legacy technologies hang around longer than they should, and modernizing long-standing organizations is more like turning a ship rather than steering a speedboat.
In other words, the blockchain is still a technology that’s searching for a problem to solve. Ultimately, those solutions will not emerge from the technology itself, but from the novel crypto-based platforms developed upon it. In this sense, the financial industry may be the first one to see a real transformation from the blockchain and its accompanying companies.
A Trillion Reasons to Change
The financial industry is as broad as it is deep. Various sectors that comprise the sector are collectively worth trillions of dollars in the U.S. alone. The financial industry is predicated on the value of p2p transactions. Financial institutions serve as the intermediary between individuals and the value exchanges that propel the economy and support individual autonomy. Whether dealing with bank loans or stock investments, the financial sector is a robust but aging practice.
Accenture, an advisory firm with resources pursuing blockchain applications in the financial industry, writes, “In spite of the factors that are currently limiting adoption, the future looks bright for blockchain and distributed ledgers.” They go on to indicate that the blockchain can reduce financial reporting costs by 70% and operations and compliance costs by 50%.
Meanwhile, Gartner Group is bullish on new blockchain initiatives, believing that “Restructuring an ecosystem and displacing established players is a classic pattern of innovative disruption.” As new products and services arrive, new opportunities emerge that will reshape the financial industry.
When it comes to financial markets, all ideas are on the table.
For the investment sector, TradeConnect, a blockchain-based multi-asset trading platform powered by ThinkCoin. This unique digital token is asset-backed, which provides liquidity and stability to crypto markets that can be tumultuous and unpredictable. Although the TradeConnect platform currently only offers FX and CFD trading, it’s developing protocols for futures contracts, commodities, derivatives, and options.
Since it’s powered by the blockchain, TradeConnect embraces a decentralized ethos by enabling direct P2P flexibility. The platform connects buyers and sellers so the trading process is simple and direct. Brokers and intermediaries are not required when the blockchain can secure and verify transactions.
By offering low fees and a liquid trading platform, ThinkCoin is prepared to disrupt the trading markets in a profound way. It allows for developments in security, reliability, speed, and cost that can reshape the investment landscape while serving as a model for the rest of the financial sector.
In many ways, ThinkCoin and its TradeConnect platform is representative of the blockchain’s promise and its ability to bring innovative solutions to stagnant industries. The financial industry is entrenched in outdated methodologies, but the blockchain and its accompanying companies are readying it for the future.
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