Saw two separate articles today about the blockchain. I am pretty excited about the blockchain, and in cryptocurrency. It took me awhile to come to that conclusion. However, I had a leg up because I lived my life in a closed blockchain when I was trading on the floor. The CME Clearinghouse, and all clearinghouses are closed blockchains.
But, the openness of the Bitcoin blockchain is pretty exciting. Sort of like when Linux came out in the 1990s.
Alibaba is getting into the blockchain business. They are rolling out blockchain for payments. This quote from the article is what was interesting to me:
China’s banking infrastructure is not as developed as in the west. Some are therefore speculating that blockchain tech and the internet may allow the country to leapfrog the banking system just as cell phones allowed developing nations to leapfrog phone lines.
I know that big institutions are looking at blockchain in the developed western economy. However, I am not sure they are looking at it as true innovation. It seems like most are wary, and see it as a threat. To be fair, advocates have positioned it that way too.
IBM is making a big investment in Singapore, rolling out a Blockchain Innovation Center there. It’s going to be positioned for logistics, shipping and trade. They also are going to use it to connect finance and trade.
This makes total sense. If you have never been to Singapore, it’s an interesting spot to visit. Their airport, Changi, is the best in the entire world. They are a connective point for all of Southeast Asia, and a financial center. When you are eating chili crabs in the east bay, you see hundreds of cargo ships lined up like rail cars in a rail yard.
I am not sure you can ever “control” or “win” the blockchain. But, I think the economies that embrace it and maximize it will have a leg up on economies that fight it.