EY Global Blockchain Summit: What Blockchain Can Deliver Now

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Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, delivers the current reality and strategic vision for the future of blockchain at the 2019 EY Global Blockchain Summit. There are two big things happening in the world of blockchain. First, blockchain is taking shape in small, individual use cases here and there: crypto-exchanges and audits or software licensing and supply chain management. These use cases are gradually gaining traction and achieving scale in particular environments. Second, the bigger picture is starting to develop on how blockchain technology will enable a fundamental transformation of enterprise operations. This keynote shares both the current reality and the strategic vision of how these pieces come together.

Depth And Scale: What Blockchain Can Deliver Now

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What I would like to do today you know last year we spent some time kind of laying out our vision. And so what I would like to do to kick off today's event and kick off the conversation is to give all of you really an update on how we're doing and what we're doing and the progress we're making towards Eli's vision of kind of how blockchain should work and the kind of impact they should have on business and society. And of course for any important event featuring you know blockchain we will have tons and tons of demos as well during the course of the day. So hopefully that will resonate well with you.

I do talk quickly and it's because I'm in a hurry it's because I've had a lot of caffeine and just because there's a lot to cover but I promise you I'll try to be vaguely entertaining as we go forward. So let me just spend a couple of seconds talking about where we've gotten started and then what I want to do is first of all talk about I'll talk a little bit about our vision and where we are. I'll talk about blocking in the enterprise of business applications. How are companies putting block to work then we'll talk about audit, tax and regulatory compliance. Why call like how to build digital trust and then we'll sort of circle back to this question of what are we doing to engineer kind of the way we think blocking should go in the future. Because we are we have barely scratched the surface in terms of what is actually possible to do from this technology even though we have done a huge amount of mature business cases and use cases and applications.

We're still at the early stages of this. And what I hope you'll take away from this today is that fortune is maturing right. We have real products real customers real use cases real value creation stuff that's in operations right end. And we also have a roadmap for where things can and should go in the future and how this can can have a an ever bigger impact. So let me just start with kind of a little bit of history. Last year we kind of laid out this vision and I said you know if you could boil down our view a block chain into a single sentence it would be this blockchain will do for networks of companies what ERP did for the single enterprise. Right. And some of you have said you know Hum what is ERP and what has it done. And not everybody has had the joy of an ERP implementation and then post ERP therapy right.

So I thought I would sort of expand on that statement a bit and just to say you know blockchain we think are going to be the future way in which companies model and manage their business processes and in particular we can basically model any process between two enterprises or two agencies or two governments as a combination of tokens that represent assets and items of value and contract write contracts not just legal contracts but they can represent business process and the things that we agree to do together as multiple organizations couple of things here. It's going to take quite a while to get there and we laid out last year what we think are the four critical transitions that have to take place for blockchain to deliver on that promise. Number one we have to start transacting in tokens. Believe it or not many enterprise blocking applications are still basically time stamping documents and notarize them on a block chain. If you want to share a bunch of PDF files can I recommend Dropbox. It's much cheaper. It is cheap it's efficient if that's what you want to do it by the way.

You know it's a big problem because I cannot buy or sell or transact against a PDF file a token an asset. I can understand. Secondly we believe there's a big transition coming towards fiat currency. Now you should not take away from this. Oh you guys a.. Cryptocurrency we are not right. However we believe that if you're an enterprise and your revenues are in dollars and your expenses are in dollars you don't want foreign exchange risk in that transaction. Right that is that's just kind of I think how CFO is thing. Right. I want to manage my revenues and my liabilities and my costs together in the same currency to minimize risk. So we believe fiat currency tokens are the way that enterprises especially will want to do transactions regulatory compliance. We are the era of block chain is a wild west. I'll come back this it's over right.

We are in the era of regulatory compliance. You know one of my colleagues she's very funny lady said you know one of the value propositions of working with a firm like he why is that you probably won't go to jail. Yeah. I mean it's a good thing right. So if you're not regulatory compliant if you can't show your clients that you are regulatory compliant This is probably not going to move forward. And then finally I really believe it has to go forward on public block Jane's right. And I'll come back this over and over again. But but private blocked ins are very useful but they have limited network effects right. I if I am on a logistics block chain and you want me to connect to another block chain for my shipping and then one for you know food traceability and everything else it is to any blockchain. Right. You just you think about the mango farmer the Roma let this guy you know somewhere in the Central Valley in California. You know what. Just fax me your order because that at least works for everybody.

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