The technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has captured the imagination of fintech experts and pundits more than almost anything else in recent years. It is no wonder. Blockchain holds the keys to changing the financial system from the ground up: With the distributed-ledger technology, validation is performed via a peer-to-peer network that eliminates powerful intermediaries that authenticate or settle transactions.
The hunt for the killer blockchain application is in full swing. The emergence of the technology saw something akin to a Cambrian explosion for blockchain startups. Now, more than 300 of them are vying to be the global economy’s “next best thing,” posing an obvious competitive threat to traditional financial institutions.
Banks, payment processors and credit card companies worry that brainy entrepreneurs, who transform high IQs into billions of dollars, could cast a pall over their core business. But it is not fintechs they should be worried about. It’s the tech titans in Silicon Valley that should keep them up at night.continue reading »