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MoneyConf 2017: the future of Bitcoin and blockchain

IBS Intelligence attended a panel held at MoneyConf 2017 this week, in which guest speakers Jon Matonis, Founding Director at the Bitcoin Foundation, and Huy Nguyen Trieu, CEO at The Disruptive Group, discussed industry transformations with host David Bailey, from BTC Media.

Matonis still sees a long road ahead before blockchain becomes mainstream: “At the moment, blockchain projects don’t go past the proof-of-concept state. Every blockchain company has a proof of concept. But they don’t materialise to actual products for the public.”

“There is a different between public and private blockchain. Public blockchains are global, open, and ‘permission-less’. Private ones require access, and they’re used for internal systems. Of course, we’ll only see real blockchain implementations when public blockchains become are widely adopted,” he added.

For Matonis, financial institutions and services won’t be the catalyst for this tech revolution. “Regarding Bitcoin, we’re seeing that online gaming/gambling has increased. Bitcoin is currently use in online casinos. But this is normal, many revolutionary technologies start in the adult entertainment and online gaming sectors, as seen with PayPal. What we’ll see is that many of the new key entrants in blockchain to financial services won’t be necessarily the FIs, like mobile networks in Africa.”

Nguyen: “Blockchain, as a technology, is really not that revolutionary. What is so disruptive is how it has designed a new attitude to design and business. It has changed the mindset of finance. Trusted third parties are not the only way to do business now. Blockchain is now an instant and free alternative, and it will have major impact in the area of finance. “The phenomenon that we’re seeing is disintermediation. Many companies see blockchain as threat as they’re the ones being disintermediated. As [Nguyen] said, there will not be a need for trusted third parties anymore,” said Matonis. “We’ll start realising that blockchain is mainstream when it gets weaved into everyday tasks transparently, and the consumer won’t even know it’s there. For example, money transfer company ABRA is on the verge of creating a viable consumer product. We should be looking out for that one.”

Nguyen: “For me, Ripple is much more interesting, because it is an information system on top of a payment one.”

Bailey pointed to prediction markets, such as Augur and GNOSIS, and how the next year will see the great importance of these through the use of blockchain tech. Matonis finalised by saying that “the ICO market is and will be the killer app for Ethereum. Look at the effect that it has on investor rights – it completely transforms them!”

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