CGI Federal in partnership with Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hosting a panel discussion on ‘Blockchain in the Financial Sector: Beyond Bitcoin. As we know, Blockchain is a transformative technology because it is a distributed ledger that anyone can use to store transactions. The question then becomes; are intermediaries between two parties conducting a transaction, still needed when you have this global, immutable ledger? We will examine recent trends and discuss what is behind the hype in a forum format. Is Blockchain going to be the Internet 3.0 and rule the industry? How Blockchain has changed the technology landscape in the Financial Sector, and what does it means for your business? Applications and Recognizing Real Trends in Cryptocurrency ************************************************************ What is Blockchain Technology? A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrencies technology. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically. Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what’s known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority. Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. Since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin. BREAKING DOWN ‘Fintech’ The term financial technology can apply to any innovation in how people transact business, from the invention of money to double-entry bookkeeping. Since the internet revolution and the mobile internet revolution, however, financial technology has grown explosively, and Fintech, which originally referred to computer technology applied to the back office of banks or trading firms, now describes a broad variety of technological interventions into personal and commercial finance.