Ron Quaranta: The Future of Finance in a Blockchain World

Talking about Blockchain with Ron QuarantaRon Quaranta, Chairman of The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance talks about blockchain’s potential to transform the financial industry, especially in the areas of fraud reduction, smart contracts and trading platforms.





On Blockchain and the Transfer of Money: If you and I were in different countries and I wanted to send you money via, for example, Western Union, one of the big incumbents in the space, for the ability to do that I’m paying a premium. $10, $20, $30 depending on how much money I’m sending you. And let’s think about what’s happening there, that money is being sent to you, I’m being charged what some consider to be an inordinate amount of money to do that, I’m risking personal data and information in doing that. Oh, and, by the way, sometimes that takes a long time to get to you depending on where you are, there’s a lag in receiving that value. And so, you begin to see what we call frictions in the transfer of money and in the value transfer mechanisms. What blockchain says, and there are some solutions right now that are looking at streamlining that remittances example, is really: Why do we need the intermediaries along those steps? And how do we secure that data? So there are solutions now that allow you and I, for example, if we were again in separate countries for me to send you that money for a fraction of the cost. And in truth virtually cost-free in a much more secure way because it eliminates the multiple steps along the way required to get you that value.

On the Evolution of Blockchain: Think about our personal banking relationships. You and I wouldn’t want our personal information out there in a fully public decentralized blockchain, for example. Same thing with healthcare records, same thing with food and medical records. And so the challenge for implementation has become: How do we maintain the best benefits of blockchain, while protecting what we’ve come to know in modern society as things like personally identifiable information? How do we protect people’s private information because the law requires it? And so, what you’re beginning to see is the development of these private and sometimes hybrid blockchains that maintain the best aspects of blockchain, immutability of data, security of data, minimization of intermediaries, while protecting our personally identifiable information.

The challenge becomes blockchain as a brand-new implementation of technology, sometimes struggles to fit into existing protocols. You see this all the time. In banking again, for example, banks have very specific requirements for how they maintain private data of customers. In Europe, they passed what’s called GDPR, the General Data Protection Rules, which basically says that even things like social media must protect personal data. So blockchain itself is evolving in many different ports in many different functions to accommodate how we live in the world today.

This episode of The Inc. Tank would not be possible without:

Christina Elson, Host and Executive Producer
Stevi Calandra, Executive Producer
Jeff Stroud, Editing and Sound Design
Corinne Baker, Production Assistant
Jake Fechter, Production Assistant
Andrew Platt, Blockchain Consultant

The Inc. Tank Theme Song “Key to the Foot” provided by Clean Cuts Music Library
The Inc. Tank logo was designed by Kasia Burns

This podcast is brought to you by The Ed Snider Center for Enterprise & Markets and the Kauffman Foundation.