New Technology – Understanding Basic Concepts

Written by: Francesco Tonin
Bloomberg L.P.

I was recently planning content with a TV producer for a show on currencies, including crypto currencies. I asked if she knew how a bitcoin miner can verify that you possess your private key without the miner knowing your private key. I understand when you pay online with a credit card the bank has a record of the card number on file, they verify the number was inputted correctly. But a bitcoin miner does not know your private key, so how in the world can they verify that you have one?

Her answer was a very simple blanket statement, similar to other responses I have received to the same question. Her reply, “it was possible thanks to blockchain technology.” This is the right answer if you currently work in corporate treasury and will never have anything to do with blockchain. But it accepts our inability to crack the concepts that make blockchain technology so powerful. If we as treasury professionals do not understand, own, direct and manage those powerful tools, then we will be relegated to the corner.

This blanket statement is not the same answer you will find at the Windy City Summit!

Soon, firms will adopt software that will run on blockchain technology for payments, document processing or other workflows. It is a sound financial decision for firms that will increase profits. We must prepare today for tomorrow’s technology. Educating ourselves today will give us the ability to understand the basic concepts to be able to contribute to the discussion on the new blockchain technology, this will not be difficult, but it requires a little effort, a little attention and a little self-challenge.

At the 2018 Windy City Summit I presented the core concepts of blockchain. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of attendee interaction. The questions, ideas and insight from the attendees was extraordinary. The Annual Windy City Summit encourages attendees to be part of the debates, to challenge the speakers, examine new technology and see how it may or may not impact their day-to-day processes. That is why people attend the Windy City Summit year after year: to gain exposure to new ideas, to discuss and engage in questions about hard concepts on which a Google search is unlikely to shed much light.

Those who attended the blockchain technology presentation last year will not be relegated to the corner when blockchain becomes a reality at their firm. They will manage these powerful tools all because they are prepared.

I hope you attend the 2019 Annual Windy City Summit and start preparing for your technology future.

 

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