Three things to know
The key events in blockchain this week focused on financial services and blockchain governance.
In financial services, the first global insurer to join the blockchain consortium R3 was announced. MetLife became the 60th member of R3 and the first global insurer. The potential uses for blockchain that MetLife will explore are quite broad and range from investment management to settlement distribution.
Why does this matter? A couple of reasons. First, it provides additional support to the hypothesis that blockchain will be relevant in multiple sectors of financial services. Next, the announcement is further proof that business processes not only can be transformed with blockchain, but they can be meaningfully improved upon through the application of blockchain. That is a big difference and holds potentially serious implications.
Next up in FSI, Visa announced they are collaborating with BTL Group to develop a blockchain interbank payment system focused on both domestic and cross-border payments. The stated benefits include lower costs, faster settlement time, and reduced risk.
In my view, this is a great step forward in blockchain adoption. Keep in mind, however, that the project is in the proof of concept stage and will include only a small number of European banks. Importantly, this is a huge test for the use of smart contracts. If successful, perhaps many of the issues of smart contracts, including legality and the benefits will move toward being resolved.
Lastly, the blockchain intelligentsia gathered somewhere in the Canadian wilderness and didn’t leave until they agreed on ten items that will move forward blockchain. I won’t list all ten points, but will highlight a few. The first point is that the time for global action is now. Why now, you ask. Why not now, they answer. The world needs blockchain and it shouldn’t have to wait any longer.
The fourth point appeared to initially be a lunch menu, but it was then crossed out and replaced with launch a blockchain hub. The hub would catalog and organize the blockchain ecosystem, help with government regulation, and create a “network of networks” to “coalesce the community”.
Lastly, the group agreed to continue being a group. They will open it up to additional members, provided those members don’t require drastic changes to the lunch menu. The ongoing goals include building a “healthier and more robust blockchain ecosystem”.
Those were the highlights of blockchain this week. Enjoy the long weekend.
For further reading on these topics:
R3 Blockchain Consortium Sees American Insurance Giant MetLife Join Ranks
Visa eyes new link in blockchain payments
Week of August 28, 2016
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