by Marc Robert-Nicoud, CEO, Clearstream Holding
Although blockchain technology has been around for years, it seems that the financial industry has only now started to realise its potential. While blockchains certainly offer exciting possibilities for the consolidation of transaction flows, the CEO of Clearstream Holding, Marc Robert-Nicoud, advocates a balanced approach.
Blockchain seems to be the buzzword of 2015. The technology underlying bitcoins has suddenly evolved from a niche area of expertise to a key skill. As a result, representatives of the financial industry are grappling to understand the complex disruptive impact blockchain could potentially have on well-established financial structures.
While possible scenarios range from simple process optimisation to disintermediation of key players in financial transactions, it is actually very hard to make accurate predictions on what will happen. Since the technology was only used in certain niche sectors in the past, its true scalability to the financial industry and viable adoption paths are little understood. A multitude of new partnerships between the financial industry and technology were formed with the aim of bridging this knowledge gap, for example the R3 consortium with major banks. While it would be unwise to ignore the innovative potential of blockchain, it would be equally short-sighted to completely discard the current set-up with its well-established safety mechanisms and the legal certainty they bring.