Friday, February 08, 2019

Block chains Panel Discussion at Alliance Uty, 9 Feb 2019, Bangalore .... ..

Alliance Uty Business School had a Conclave on Block Chain technology , a great panel discussion this morning in the first floor seminar hall. The session was attended by MBA students of sem 2 and sem 4. After an introductory talk by Dr Ray Titus, Dean, the talk started and was moderated by Dr K M Santosh.

The Panel members on 9 Feb 2019 at Alliance U.
The following industry speakers were in the panel. Besides Moderator, Dr. K M Santosh, the other members were Surya Saha (Aon Plc), Apurva Srivastava, Bharat Chabria, Rajashri Mitra, Kapil Jain (Zorang Inc.) and Ajit Kallahally (Accenture).

The discussions touched upon aspects ranging from security of financial transactions, jobs, safety, technology, energy spent, Proof of work, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Double spending, Sacramento consensus, hard forking, soft forking, segmented motor insurance.

Apurva Srivastava was of the opinion that Blockchain should not be thought as a panacea to all problems. Even though it does away with the mediator in most of the cases, it does not help in all situation for example, may not be good for replacing Amazon, Alibaba in ecommerce. We cannot say over time the inefficiencies of the Amazon / Alibaba model of e-commerce may be exposed and some new Blockchain based technolgies may arrive on the scene.

Demystifying Blockchains ..
Just like TCP/IP created great value to economic value to society by decreasing the cost of connections, it is believed that Block chains will bring great economic value to society by decreasing the cost of transactions. - Prof. Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School, from The Truth about Block Chain, HBR, Jan 2017.

The above path breaking paper from 2 Harvard Bschool professors give us a framework to predict how Blockchain technology and applications would evolve in the future.  (Click here to read the paper..)

First of all we need connections to communicate with others, may be from any part of the world. Thanks to the TCP/IP revolution, more than 50% of the global population can now be accessed and communicated with over the internet. Once communication or contacts is established either over email, internet telephony, whatsapp text chats, calls and video calls, messenger chats etc ., the next thing is to get to business. ie. after communicating we go ahead with the transactions.

The main aspects regarding transactions are 
  • how do we make transaction fool-proof ?
  • how do we ensure and improve the integrity of transactions ?
  • how do we make it fast ?
  • what technology do we use ? 
  • do we need a client-server or peer-to-peer network architecture ?
  • how do we make to effective to end customers ?
  • how do we make it cheap and affordable ?
  • how do we make it error-free ?
These are all interesting questions that are going to be addressed by the Blockchains of the future.
All transactions that leave a digital footprint are highly susceptible to get affected by the Blockchain revolution.
With Internet pervading almost all aspects of human activity, all human activities will be impacted by the Blockchain. Blockchain sits on the TCP/IP backbone. 

TCP/IP is open source, so is Blockchain..

One great lesson, the TCP/IP and Blockchain revolution is telling the world is that  the only path for the world to progress with foundational technologies is through the OPEN SOURCE path. Letting humnaity share in the spoils and no one entity or group having a stranglehold on humanity on sharing the benefits.

All technologies that been offered as open-source, have got transformed to foundational technologies and have helped transform mankind and humanity in many many ways. The world of profit, rent taking mentality, assuring annual interest, dividend yields etc. are all limiting and demeaning aspects of human progress and development, limiting growth of the human race on planet Earth. They should be set aside as things of the past. 

In the early 90s, nobody thought Internet would become a foundational technology as it is now and would change the way we live, travel, shop, carry business, search for information and so on. In another 15 years Blockchain would also influence our lives and transform the way we carry out transactions and it is sure to raise the standard of living of the people and society, bringing great economic value.

What is the next FOUNDATIONAL TECHNOLOGY after TCP/IP and Block Chain getting ready to disrupt the world was the question for the panel .. They are still thinking about it.

The speakers never thought they would discuss with the audience in under three hours about the many different concepts, possibilities, potential, ideas, postulates, ideas, convictions  and so on. That is the beauty of a Panel Discussion with many subject experts on the panel.  The panel represented experts and practitioners from many fields using Blockchains or planning to use it in the near future. Some discussions on Blockchain applications in the supply chain were also discussed.

The session was indeed an eye-opener to the students who attended in large numbers, the hall was full. This would have been the first such session in any Bschool in Bangalore with excellent and lively participation from industry experts, to try to understand and tame this new technology which has tremendous chances of application in lot of areas. The question answer session was very informative as it brought in many questions and lively participation from the panelists.


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