Blockchain: The Basic Hope of Transparency
On the first day of the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum 2019 (NTLF2910), Steven Hall said about Blockchain, “From a sustainability standpoint, blockchain consumes too much power right now, even though the distributed ledger technology is pathbreaking.”
On Day 2, an inconspicuous session at the fag end of the day on the realities of blockchain technology in this fiscal pulled in the doers. Let it suffice to say that neither the time nor the space was enough to discuss this imminent change in the way accounting will take form in the future. But as Brian David Johnson put it, technology is just the tool, what we do with it is what will decide its impact.
Panelist, Rama Iyer, President and Chief Product Officer of ElevenO1 Technologies, offered up great business-use cases to illustrate just how blockchain can aid transparency and speed in the next decade of financial services and accounting. But even before that, he too pointed out, “Blockchain as a technology is sector agnostic. It is a feature, not a product itself,” a fact that stands true for every piece of future tech out there.
So what’s the vision for making blockchain adoption more widespread and truly sector agnostic?
Mission: Blockchain Adoption
ElevenO1 is working with the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to set up an entire blockchain district in Hyderabad. The first problem they’re tackling en masse is the issue of fraudulent certificates – an area that Is most prone to forgeries – from birth and marriage certificates, to educational qualifications. He further enumerated that offering blockchain solutions to easy-to-address problems is a great way to streamline seemingly minor, however crucial snags.
While this may seem unexciting to many, the technology is still rather poorly understood by c-suite executives in financial services and the banking sector. Abhijit Singh revealed that even when he has tried to make a strong case for the adoption of blockchain technology in the boardroom, “We are told, ‘but this can happen on email also!’” The room broke into mirth but the Technology Head of ICICI Bank was not joking.
Jorge Lesmes, Global Head of Blockchain Banking Practice, Everis (an NTT DATA company) further said, “Creating a programme or software in blockchain is not the challenge. It is the integration of the programme with the core banking platform that is a problem.” He went on to reveal another shocking piece of trivia about the (lack of) informedness among leadership even among corporate leadership in Europe, “Some don’t even know what API is!”
Steven Hall may have dismissed the need to know software or coding in order to use technology, but surely awareness is not an option!