When did you last come across an article about Facebook that started with an explanation of the TCP/IP protocol? Or, perhaps, a piece on Amazon that first explained how online encryption works?
The answer is, probably never. Yes, internet businesses rely on technical infrastructure, but this isn’t what makes Facebook or Amazon interesting. These companies are interesting because they change what people do and how they buy. And the technical stuff? It’s all hidden under the bonnet.
It seems we are nearing this point with blockchain.
At a recent event discussing the technology, held by trade association the Financial Services Forum, there was little emphasis on technicalities. This was not because of an underlying assumption that attendees already knew it all; rather, because the technical aspects were not the point. The discussion has begun to shift towards what people do and how they buy.
The key takeaways from the event were that:
1. Ignoring specifics, blockchain is actually very simple.
2. You can explain why blockchain matters in exactly six words.
3. Blockchain is already proving useful to financial institutions.
4. There are lessons on how blockchain changes what people do and how they buy.