At the end of the 90's great changes were emerging in our common perception of the Internet. Companies that would become the giants of the future like Google, Yahoo and Amazon started to be out of the ordinary, and the frivolous technology conservatives of the time had previously labeled computers as a fad.
True technology lovers began to recognize the tremendous potential while conservatives lamented their skepticism at first. The irony of the times is that such disruptive events occur from time to time in a generation. The next blow to the skeptics is expected to come from the Blockchain technology.
Many people have yet to discover the potential and advantages of Blockchain. It is increasingly climbing the corporate ladder of traditional financial services, the blockchain and Bitcoin talks. For better or for worse, for negative or positive criticism, what is discussed today in the offices of the financial world that began at the lunch table, ended up landing at the meetings of the boards of directors of the corporations.
A Key Testimony
Michael Chang is currently Chief Strategy Officer of Wachsman and was previously Senior Vice President of Jefferies Technology Investment Banking. As a key witness to the transformation of banking, from the traditional institution to the new blockchain platforms, Chang anticipates that distributed ledger technology will end up transforming the world's banking system, and thus all other sectors of the global economy, for the better.
He decided to specialize in blockchain and cryptocurrencies when the nascent technology and its applications had such a formidable space to grow. In Jefferies' Technology Investment Banking Group, he founded and led a blockchain coverage group, and the demand from his clients for blockchain was immense. He quickly learned that decentralization can have monumental implications for big business and that its various uses would fundamentally change the way we interact.
However, the further he got into blockchain, the more he realized that he wanted to bring new technologies to the traditional business world and help develop the technology from its core. And, like many did with the Internet in the late 90's, Chang was able to convince himself and made a non-traditional career turn, now he is heavily betting on blockchain.
Wall Street: Future Blockchain?
The current trend on Wall Street is increasingly becoming that executives are turning to blockchain startups with good intentions. For example, in May, the former UK Visa CEO Marc O'Brien, who helped Visa double its revenues from international businesses, announced that he would leave to lead the Crypterium crypto-banking application.
Another example of this trend is Goldman Sachs' vice president, Chris Matta, who recently announced that he would leave the banking company to start his own crypto business, Crescent Crypto Asset Management. And to keep naming others, there is also the case of Eric Piscini, Principal and Global Leader of Blockchain at Deloitte, who recently announced that he would leave the company to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the new Citizens Reserve crypt supply chain.
And of course, given this phenomenon that is becoming increasingly viral among industry captains, traditionalists from all walks of life are asking: Why is this happening?
A good starting point for spreading the Blockchain culture is the recent actions, announcements and feelings of local, national and international regulators as they begin to better enforce blockchain projects and, more specifically, the practice of ICOs.
Despite some governments uncertainties about cryptocurrencies (are they securities, properties, commodities, currencies or a whole new class?), we are starting to see many jurisdictions engage in an open dialogue with industry leaders and adopt an approach of protecting investors first without stifling innovation.
It is no longer a question on whether regulators will allow blockchain implementation to continue across all economic sectors, but how they will allow it to keep and spread. An important distinction in the eyes of experts who are afraid to make the transition.
A crucial milestone in regulatory progress came in March, when G20 members met in Buenos Aires to discuss how the international community should harmonize its designation of blockchain technology.
Although no general consensus was reached, the representatives of each country each recognized that blockchain has the potential to provide both security and transparency to transform trade interactions, factors that are normally contradictory in nature. The meeting resolved to finalize substantive space policy as early as July this year, which is likely to set the international normative precedent for the years ahead.
Even in the United States, a country that has been openly reluctant to embrace major blockchain and cryptocurrencies applications, they are beginning to witness a progressive shift towards the validation of the revolutionary industry.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently stood firm in ensuring that cryptocurrencies are registered as securities under federal law; it has also promised to work with, rather than against, cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies in an effort to decrease volatility, increase viability, and pave the way for a business practice that meets all fair standards.
With these convergences, the bad players in the industry are beginning to be handled appropriately, with a stampede of court cases, fines and investment returns making headlines across the country, which is encouraging for the future of the industry.
With the committed applications of increasingly judicious regulations and legal guidelines, a primary reason we are experiencing the exodus of corporate executives to the blockchain is access to opportunity. Financially and technologically, it is not only access that matters in the business world, but also the speed at which the opportunity can come, given the explosive growth and the increasingly short entry barriers.
The fact that the technology industry is evolving towards Blockchain does not mean that investment bankers will no longer work comfortably by the standards of the traditional economy, but it is the promise of accelerated success in the new technology-enabled economy that is attracting the best talent to the ecosystem.
Signs Indicating Change
It took Yahoo three years to break a $1 billion market valuation. In contrast, Zilliqa recently broke a $1 billion valuation after its market capitalization tripled in just 30 days.
The sheer volume of success stories alone is enough to make any business expert think twice before continuing their common work without blockchain. And it's not a good reason to consider blockchain just to make money, as this would be a waste to both the service and the industry and the professionals who embrace the main purpose of this industry.
The ability to do good while making things work the way you want, is what positively impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. This will always be the main reason why change is generated.
In the words of Michael Chang:
“We are all idealists at heart, and we all strive to leave behind a world that is better than it was when we entered it. From supply chain solutions to improved data ownership to online security practices to financial and identity privacy, blockchain is providing solutions to people, all around the world. Industry recognition plays a part here too.”