The financial services industry is experiencing – or better said, is suffering – an enormous paradigm shift. New technologies, combined with new consumers, are redefining the way financial institutions design products and deliver services. Remaining competitive in this rapidly and constantly changing environment is becoming a complex task. Traditional tools and strategies get quickly supplanted by better ways to meet customer needs. Traditional players, such as banks or similar financial institutions, are facing new competitors who understand consumer expectations better and are equipped to meet emerging needs with new technologies. Those competitors use technology to make financial services more efficient.
Fintech companies rely, for example, on mobile technology, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, smartphones and virtual exchanges and tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, to disrupt traditional markets. In all this confusion, a book was published: Blockchain Babel, by Igor Pejic, Ed. Kogan Page.
In his book, Pejic – Head of Marketing at BNP Paribas PF AT – has taken up the challenge of organizing all the resources around the game-changing technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and rapidly adopted for a lot of other applications. In fact, the transformation power of blockchain technology is by no means limited to the finance sector.
It reaches several sectors including, among others:
- secure identification, for example, see the IBM Verify Credentials Project, or startups like Validated ID, Keyp, NewBanking, Metadium, Thekey, Trustly, Nuggets, AGEify, GlobaliD, etc.);
- voting, for example, the government of Sierra Leone is to introduce a blockchain-based national identity system at the end of 2019, enabling citizens to grant access to approved institutions to assert and verify identity and also build credit histories);
- new compensation model for artists, for example, a company called Codex, for instance, has developed a decentralized database for the art market, as well as collectibles like jewelry, cars, and antiques. Using Blockchain for art management allows them to create a central database for provenance information pertaining to a work of art. This would allow owners to share information about their artworks while allowing their identities to remain private. As Blajer-Golebiewska, Wach, and Kos (2018) highlights, “availability of information is one of the most important factors for decision-makers”.
- new compensation model for media professionals, for example, a platform called Monegraph has implemented a blockchain-based system to provide a series of services such as licensing, payment processing, media handling, and distribution of work for artists, photographers, designers, and other media makers. With Monegraph, buying and selling licensed digital media can be done under the complete control of the artist. They can set the terms, rights, and prices without any interference. It also streamlines the communication between rights owners, publishers, and fans.
The book offers a complete overview of the evolvement blockchain technology, the logic, future developments, myths and global challenges, presenting not only the theoretical elements of the strategic movement, but also practical solutions and examples. The book is highly informative and full of substance. The author has succeeded in combining technological perspectives with business cases. It should be a must-read book for all those professionals entering in the Babel Tower of blockchain. Indeed, the book provides students and professionals with an important tool to face technological development.
Dr. Salvatore Moccia
Professor of Strategic Management,
Founder & CEO www.fintechnews.org