How does the Bitcoin blockchain differ from traditional banking systems? It was late 2009 when former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker said that “the only useful thing the banking sector has invented in the past 20 years is the ATM”, and although almost ten years have passed since he addressed the crowd at the Wall Street Journal Future of Finance Initiative his statement still rings true today.
Banking services have seen very little change in the past 40 or so years, but this period of what some would call inventive stagnation looks to be coming to an end.
The reason? Fintech.
Artificial intelligence now affects virtually every facet of our financial lives, from how our credit scores are tallied up, to various aspects of regulatory compliance, to how simple queries are dealt with.
We’re now seeing the Bitcoin blockchain provide financial services that no longer depend on the more conventional institutions such as banks.
This shift has seen fresh discussion and arguments acted out in business schools all over the world, with students proclaiming the entire financial system, as we know it, to be obsolete. Others scoff at the notion of cryptocurrency ever being able to work within the complexities of corporate finance.
It has been portrayed by many as a stand-off between those who understand the underlying technology that is involved in the blockchain and those who have a background in financial theory. The truth is that this shouldn’t be a stand-off at all.
Business schools, if they wish to remain relevant in the future, must embrace a partnership of sorts with computer scientists and crypto experts.
A shift in culture is vital, with business schools incorporating experts in the cryptocurrency field into their ranks and freeing themselves from their traditional silos. The unique understanding that such experts can provide will be crucial for the students of tomorrow who intend to work in finance.
Many traditionalists will point to bitcoin and its volatile nature, but the truth is that FinTech is so much more than the Bitcoin blockchain and is continuing to expand and grow every day.
Much like the way the business landscape changed after the dot-com bubble burst, we are seeing changes in the way we conduct our financial business, making the lives of those who use these services more manageable.
Times are changing, and rather than standing on opposite sides of an imaginary divide, we need to see our business schools recognize and positively react to the changing landscape, preparing the students of today for the changing financial landscape of tomorrow.
Lover of all things crypto, blockchain and AI, professional tech scribe & part of the editorial team at Crypto Disrupt.