The rise of digital technologies is leading to change in many industries, and financial services is not exempt from disruption. Sibos, a financial services event that will be held next week in Toronto from October 16 – 19, presents an opportunity for savvy financial leaders to network, discuss business strategy and collectively shape the future of payments, securities, cash management, trade finance and more. Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that got its start with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the financial sector, is sure to be a hot topic at the event.
Changing the status quo
Blockchain has forced businesses into a new era of cooperation and co-opetition. For example, four banks recently joined an initiative launched by UBS and IBM to build a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Around the world, similar consortiums are being formed as more financial institutions recognize that they’re better off collaborating on blockchain if they truly want to disrupt and transform their industry.
You might be wondering why banks are looking to blockchain as a vehicle for change, but the answer is simple: by providing a shared version of the truth, blockchain offers certainty — something that is sorely lacking in traditional approaches to conducting business transactions. When trading partners can’t trust each other, they turn to middlemen who provide a semblance of certainty through regulations and complex validation processes. However, this is a bit like putting a bandage on a blister: it doesn’t solve the root issue. Through shared consensus, provenance and immutability, blockchain make it possible for participants of a business network to trust the information, even if they can’t trust each other.
With nearly 200 exhibitors, hundreds of speakers and conference session, and high-level networking events, Sibos is definitely an event I’m looking forward to attending. For those interested in what is possible with IBM Blockchain, I recommend the following sessions and activities:
October 16, 2017; 3:30 – 4:30 PM; Conference room 5
IBM is building a first universal network for real-time clearing and settlement for multiple financial assets, initially focusing on cash, cross-border payment and foreign exchange. Join Jesse Lund, Vice President, Global Blockchain Market Development, FSS, IBM Industry Platform, for this panel discussion to learn more about leveraging the multi-asset network on blockchain. Panelists include:
Jed McCaleb, Cofounder and CTO, Stellar Development Foundation
Robert Bell, President and Chairman, The KlickEx Group
Chuck Hounsell, SVP, TD Bank
Ram Komarraju, Head of Innovation and Technology Delivery, CLS
See blockchain in action
What better way to explore blockchain than to see a demo? You can find the IBM booth at E08 and the Hyperledger booth at A01 in the Connect 800 Exhibition Hall. At the booths, you’ll learn about cross-industry use cases for blockchain in financial markets and banking, and get to see some cool demos by blockchain experts. You can even schedule a meeting.
Building the future of financial services
Blockchain is driving innovation in the banking industry and I’m excited to see what new ideas and strategies comes out of Sibos this year. Personally, I think the future of financial services will at least partly involve using blockchain to provide emerging markets, which have traditionally struggled to be trusted in business transactions, with more flexible access to financial resources.
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