Key Question On The Blockchain

Yesterday, William Mougayar spoke at 1871 on The Business Blockchain. I want to thank everyone who came.  We had to turn people away on the last day.  This was the first event we have done around Business to Business Fin Tech.  We want to do a lot more around other financial business silos.

Business to Business Fin Tech isn’t easily grasped or understood by a lot of people.  They “get” the next lead gen app, or the next savings app.  B2B Fin Tech is a lot more esoteric.  Talking about it at events like we did yesterday and getting the problems and issues out in the open should help the community get ideas about how to build a business.

William spoke for 20 minutes.  We had Q+A scheduled for 40 minutes, but it ran long and there were more people with questions.  That’s a good thing!  Here is a link-post your question and William will try to answer them.  We will post the whole video of the presentation when I get it.

One person asked a very, very intriguing question.   She is a corporate treasurer.  She didn’t understand how corporate treasurers, or other C level executives would make the intellectual leap when it came to trust.  With the responsibility she has to her fellow employees, and to her shareholders, why would she automatically trust someone on the blockchain without vetting them?

It’s a huge question and I am glad she asked it.

Part of it goes to the core of business standard operating procedure.  Vendors get vetted.  Potential employees get vetted.  Potential customers get vetted.  It costs time and money to initiate those relationships.

I remember when I was selling for 3M.  We used to have people approach us to become a distributor.  The first thing you did as a salesman was order a Dun and Bradstreet report on them.  It wasn’t cheap, and if you ordered too many someone up the chain of command would question you on it.  It usually took a week or so to get it.

Blockchain theoretically could change that process.  However, if a company is comfortable doing this internally it might be a difficult behavior to change.  This goes to the core of risk/reward.  Will a company delegate the risk to the blockchain, something new?  Or, will it rely on older more expensive methods?

Her question brings up another point which William touched on briefly in his presentation.  With machine learning, you are able to run thousands of random samples sliced differently on the same population in a short period of time.  That capability should create better models and better forecasting.  Better predictability.  We use hypothesis testing and try to make inferences from it.  Often we are wrong.

Blockchain can make you more certain.  There is a proof of work that something actually got done.  Could Blockchain revolutionize statistics by making them better predictors because of certainty?

We are in very early days when it comes to blockchain. As William said, there are only about 7000 developers working on it-9M are working on Java.  Because of the way the internet has evolved, we hear a lot more about it.  That’s created a “we want it now” expectation, or a “what have you done for me lately” feeling.  It’s very easy to deride and ignore the blockchain.  I think though, like the web, the early adopters that make that intellectual leap and try it will find it makes them more efficient.