The Current Development of Blockchain and its application on Business
On the 23rd October, Professor Laurence Kirk, CEO & Blockchain Engineer, came to PHBS UK Campus to present a seminar about Blockchain and Bitcoin. The students from the master’s in Finance and Management courses learned about restrictions, ups and downs, trends, rules, new applications and developments on Bitcoins and blockchain, in other words, everything about the “Current Development of Blockchain and its Application to Business”.
Created in 2009, the Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a decentralized virtual or digital currency that, without a central bank, government or intermediaries, can be used to buy products, services, or even cash.
The lecture gave an overview of the blockchain technology, enterprise choices, applications, recent news and future trends. First, how does it work? People can send Bitcoins (which is, basically, a computer file, stored in a digital wallet’s app) to someone else’s digital wallet. And every translation is recorded in a public list: the blockchain. So, it is possible to trace the history of the Bitcoins and difficult to copy Bitcoins or spend if not owned. Even without a central authority, “the blockchain provides a trust layer”, said Professor Laurence Kirk.
And Ethereum, heard about it? Ethereum ( http://ethviewer.live/ ) is a public, open source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system that features smart contract functionality. Prof. Laurence Kirk explained that “Many of these components already existed but were brought together in Bitcoin”. So, what are the components of the Blockchain system? “A shared public ledger updated by consensus, a Peer-to-peer network and cryptography. These components give the blockchain system “transparency and verifiable state based on consensus, resilience, censorship resistance and tamper proof interactions”.
During this seminar, the students learned that there are many Blockchain use cases. In the automotive area, Porsche introduced blockchain to cars; also Decentralized Finance “aims to provide the same financial services as traditional banking without intermediaries”. Without a central authority, says Professor Laurence Kirk, “Decentralized Finance allows everyone to engage with financial services like payments, lending, borrowing or investing with high autonomy and fewer barriers”. Barclays Bank and the innovative start-up company “Wave” have become the first organizations to execute a global trade transaction using blockchain technology.
Concerning the supply chain, Professor Kirk believes that “Trusted suppliers must be thoughtfully selected, managed, monitored and certified for quality, reliability and consistency. Providing these assurances in today’s manufacturing world imposes a hidden (and growing) “trust tax” on worldwide supply chain participants”. Also, the Food Standards Agency has successfully completed a pilot using blockchain technology in a cattle slaughterhouse. It's the first time blockchain has been used as a regulatory tool to ensure compliance in the food sector.
What about trend? It is expected that the Financial Services will dominate, the gambling and the games should be reduced, there will be more crypto payment cards and the enterprise applications might be held back by issues related to privacy, performance and lack of reputation systems. In the future, IA will be integrated in the Blockchain system.
At the end of the seminar, the students had on their sleeves some questions about investing… But Professor Laurence Kirk made it very clear: He never invested in the Blockchain himself. So, he is the last person to ask for advice in investing”.