Exponential Finance, a two-day conference organized by Singularity University and CNBC, has been held in New York City. The event brought together leading experts in the financial industry, who discussed how the technology can influence businesses.
Peter Diamandis, Michael Rhodin and Marc Goodman were among the speakers. Besides, the attendees included founders of mobile payments companies and blockchain startups that incorporate smart software in order to improve their customer service.
According to an article on SingularityHUB, many industries will face significant changes in the near future.
CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters, who was one of the speakers, focused on the potential of the technology behind bitcoin (see the video above). The blockchain technology that records cryptocurrency transactions, Master suggests, can do the same for “a will, a deed, a title, a license, intellectual property, an invention, or any type of financial instrument” across a network of distributed computers.
Nowadays, the big traditional players are getting displaced by new startups. Three years ago, Kodak, which created the digital camera, filed for bankruptcy. The same year Instagram was bought for billions of dollars. Car services app Uber is estimated at $40 billion, although the company doesn’t own cars.
Peter Diamandis, executive chairman of Singularity University, called it the “disruptive potential of digital technology.” He said: “Digitization means anything that becomes ones and zeros can be easily replicated and distributed around the world for free.”
Bill Barhydt, the founder of Abra payment app, predicts that billions of unbanked in emerging countries will skip traditional finance given the spread of smartphones in the developing world.
Combining smartphone technology, peer-to-peer network and blockchain technology, Abra makes sending cash as easy as sending a text message. The app doesn’t require bank account and doesn’t charge transfer fees.
“By more fully digitizing finance (parts of it are, of course, already digitized), we can supercharge commerce and reduce the cost of doing business,” SingularityHUB wrote.
However, it is difficult to predict who will be the next big thing finance.
“There are thousands and thousands of contenders and a number of promising approaches and technologies. And we shouldn’t count out existing players either. Canon originally made cameras that used film, for example, but they transitioned to own a big chunk of the digital camera market too,” the website stated.
“Some firms today may overcome institutional inertia and switch course when it makes sense to do so—enhancing their core business by embracing powerful emerging technologies as they come online.”
“But Canon also shows how crucial it is to stay a few steps ahead, and how difficult that can be. Even now, the digital camera market is shrinking as point-and-shoot cameras are replaced by smartphones.”