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4 Things You Need to Know About Blockchain

October 2017

As part of Apex Systems’ Toolbox Talk series, we recently invited Richie Etwaru, well-known keynote speaker and author on a variety of digital topics, to speak about the popular new paradigm, Blockchain.

Below are a few takeaways from his recent talk:

  1. What is Blockchain?
    Blockchain is the underlying protocol of Bitcoin. It runs on industrial grade hardware from network participants and operates on “proof of stake.” Bitcoin is to Blockchain as AOL IM is to the internet. Bitcoin is an example of the protocol, but the paradigm itself is much larger. Since its introduction, the transactional reach and speed of Blockchain has increased significantly; likewise, the cost has decreased, making it easier and more affordable to be utilized.

  2. How does Blockchain affect transactional trust?
    One of the largest impacts of Blockchain is its influence on commerce’s “trust gap,” referring to the public’s trust of transactions and the intermediaries involved in validating those transactions. When transactions take place, data is presented to those individuals involved, and there is no easy way to tell if the data is credible besides utilizing intermediaries whose primary job is to check the validity of data. How does Blockchain affect this gap? It reduces the time and cost of verifying data. Instead of verifying data through intermediaries, Blockchain supplies immutable data that requires little effort to check for validity. With a simple algorithm that easily checks for data tampering, Blockchain moves from a system that says “trust me, you can trust me” to “easily test if I am trustable,” putting the power for verification in the hands of users. The implications for this advancement on commerce are thus immeasurable, allowing users to trust and verify data without the “middle man.”

  3. How does Blockchain affect partner familiarity?
    Blockchain is distributed and decentralized, meaning companies cannot alter or manipulate the data in any way, adding validity and credibility between partners and stakeholders. Likewise, because partners participate equally in Blockchain, it increases the reach of market consensus and partner familiarity, providing new trading partners at low cost and high confidence. Due to this influx in potential business partners, new market structures will emerge.

  4. How will Blockchain affect the future?
    Essentially, what does all this mean for the future? A lot of opportunity. With new access to trustworthy data and new trading partners, Blockchain has the capability to change the way we think about online transactions and open up a world of possibilities for businesses and consumers alike.

  5. To watch the full webinar, click here.

    In addition to being a c-level at multiple Fortune 500 companies, in the past five years, Richie Etwaru has keynoted over 250 conferences, across five continents, presenting to over 100,000 live audience participants on digital topics ranging from the cloud, through wearables, into artificial intelligence, and now focusing on blockchain. He is a TEDx speaker, INC Magazine listed his book as of the top 10 leadership books of 2015, and Ray Wang and Vala Afshar from DisruptTV described him as one of the smartest Chief Digital Officers in the world. He is frequently covered on and has been on the cover of several industry trade publications in healthcare and financial services.

    Richie was a former Clinton Global Initiative delegate and currently serves as a board member for multiple not-for-profit organizations. He earned his Bachelor degree in Management Information Systems from York College as well as his M.B.A. in Technology Management from University of Phoenix where he’s currently pursuing his PhD in Organizational Leadership.

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