Our choices for catching up this summer on blockchain tech.
In banking and finance, only 4% of professionals consider themselves familiar with blockchain technology. However, 56% of them recognize its growing importance. (PwC: How Fintech is Reshaping Financial Services)
This summer reading list is intended to familiarize newcomers with blockchain technology, and help everybody catch up as blockchain goes commercial.
- Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper
- Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don & Alex Tapscott
Both provide a historical view of how we got here: focusing in large part on when and how Bitcoin began and why it was such a monumental occurrence in the timeline of global finance. Nathaniel Popper, reporter for the New York Times, spins a fascinating story from his research on the shadowy past of bitcoin as a currency. The Tapscotts focus more on the technology, seeking to discover how the cumulative innovations of the last few decades predict those that will follow.
- The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar
If your summer only affords enough time to read one book on this technology, then this is the one. Popper and the Tapscotts’ books function as textbooks for a class in Blockchain 101, but Mougayar has penned the text for more advanced readers looking for Blockchain 202: Blockchain for Business. The author spends less time on the history and the earliest functions of the technology and digs deeper into the potential that blockchain has to literally remake the financial world.
Catch up on #blockchain tech with our summer reading list! Tweet This
- Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King
Whether you call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or as branchless bank pioneer and popular podcast host Brett King calls it, the “augmented age,” there is little doubt that the world is undergoing rapid change as robotics, automation, and the rise of connected devices re-order the daily processes of life on Earth. King projects the ultimate expression of these technologies in his vision of the “smart city.”
If you don’t have time for a book and you want to focus on specific business cases for blockchain tech, Ripple Insights can recommend a few reports on payments to bring you up to speed.
In the 2015 McKinsey annual global payments report, blockchain is discussed as a possible solution for cross-border payments that are slow, expensive and uncertain. These pain points are an opportunity, and McKinsey pinpoints where the system can be more efficient, positing that digitization and blockchain tech in retail banking have important implications for transaction bankers.
Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley Global Insights specified the potential benefits of cooperation between established players and technology providers like Ripple to optimize cross-border payments, writing:
“International payments have friction in them with multi-day settlement times and a relatively slow bank settlement system. Moving to a blockchain should shorten settlement periods, speed up transactions and reduce the risk of fraud. This would become even more important as intra-country payments systems increasingly move to real-time, including the U.S. in October 2016. SWIFT and Ripple are both leading interesting suggestions for international payments.”
There are summers ahead in which to read the classics and new bestsellers. Spend some time this summer studying the technology that is transforming the financial world.