Blockchain beyond Fintech

Notoriously difficult to understand, blockchain has emerged as a promising technology to revolutionize all aspects of record keeping and verification. Its applications in the realm of financial services, as part of the so-called Fintech movement, have been widely discussed. Bitcoin is surely its most prominent application to date.

However, many proponents and entrepreneurs believe that blockchain has much to offer in other parts of the economy and society more general.

Our blockchain panelists will explore and debate the potentials, risks, opportunities and challenges of “Blockchain beyond Fintech”, in such diverse fields as education, talent management or democracy.

Dr Karl will open the panel with a short talk to demystify blockchain for our DISRUPT.SYDNEY audience.

Each panelist will make a short statement outlining their view of blockchain before we open the floor for discussion. We will collect questions for our panelists before and during the conference.

“Trust is important not only in finance but for any transactions between people. Trust usually relies on either people, or institutions (such as banks or governments)— or both.
But blockchain makes it possible to rely on something more trustworthy than people or institutions. Yes, I’m talking mathematics. Mathematics is at the basis of the key technologies needed for the blockchain to work. The blockchain is the brilliant invention that stops people from spending their virtual currency more than once, or to alter transaction records after the fact.
In my talk I will outline in straight-forward terms how blockchain works and what it can do for us.”For a quick overview of blockchain by Dr Karl see here.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (panel chair)
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“Blockchain’s potential goes far beyond crypto-currencies, it is a platform that eliminates trust from the equation. Once you realize that, you will start seeing blockchain as an integral part of every industry where establishing trust is a substantial component of its value proposition. Having said this, I envision a future where all public services have embedded this technology in their core.” Emma Poposka (Brontech)
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“Credentialing has long been a challenge for organisations. Risks are high. Get it wrong and the consequences are often serious for all parties. Blockchain is durable, time-stamped, transparent, and decentralized which makes it well suited as a system of reputation. As we move increasingly to new ways of engaging talent, credentialing becomes even more important. I have a particular research interest in the digital workplace. Blockchain is likely to be a game changer.” Kristine Dery (MIT Sloan)
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“Blockchain tech isn’t just a financial curiosity, it’s a new way to organise people around information. For the first time we have pure information that not only requires a currency and the associated industry to exist, but also has deep properties that can teach us about the nature of truth, knowledge, and democracy.
My vision for blockchain tech is a world which uses it to leverage, promote, and create new knowledge, and I’m particularly interested in novel forms of communities and relationships that can exist in a blockchain infused world.”
Max Kaye (Flux)
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“No new technology since the dawn of the Internet has captured the imagination like blockchain. Designed to solve what was thought to be an unsolvable problem – the double spend of electronic cash – blockchain has been championed for unlimited use cases.
The native blockchain only does one thing – it resolves the order of entries in a decentralised ledger – and it doesn’t even do that very well. For crypto-currency, this trick is perfect, but it’s neither necessary nor sufficient for managing real world assets like diamonds, land titles, health records and identities. Nothing except Bitcoin itself gets “onto” the blockchain without the sorts of hierarchical structures that the anarchic blockchain was designed to do away with!”
Stephen Wilson (Constellation Research)
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