As Dentacoin has a specific industrial orientation and is planned to be used as an industrial means of payment, it is of high importance to our team to get valuable feedback from professionals in various relevant fields such as dentistry, finance, macroeconomics, insurance or Blockchain. It was our pleasure to have Mr. Georgi Balinov, Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, sharing his thoughts on the hype around Blockchain Technology.
Dentacoin: Currently, there’s hype around Blockchain technology. A recent report from the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025 10% of GDP will be stored on Blockchains or Blockchain-related technology. This leads to the conclusion that Blockchain will have an impact on every industry. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of Blockchain solutions, specifically aligned with the needs of a particular industry. What do you think about the future of specific industrial solutions based on Blockchain?
Georgi Balinov: I think that there was a substantial amount of “hype” associated with Blockchain in 2015 and 2016 as it evolved away from its bitcoin roots to garner more mainstream attention. With that attention however a number of challenges also crystallized as industries looked to identify discrete use cases where blockchain can be implemented to solve very real problems or create efficiencies. I do believe that blockchain has the potential to be a core technology where current technology solutions have been insufficient. It will probably fairly customized and likely on smaller scale than people originally expected, and likely in a more closed, controlled environment within very specific sectors of the economy with unsatisfied demand for seamless value transfer technology.
Dentacoin: Leading Macroeconomists describe the Blockchain technology as the “Internet of Value”. We really like this term. How would you explain it?
Georgi Balinov: Great question. Think about the internet, your ability to access it, globally, and exchange data based on common protocols. You can be anywhere in the world and send an email. The email will reach its recipient within seconds. It’s seamless. That is how “value” ought to be exchanged as well. Quickly, frictionlessly, without loss along the way. Blockchain promises to get us a little closer to this utopia.
Dentacoin: It is being discussed that Blockchain has the potential to be the most transformative technology to hit the financial services sector since the Internet. It offers the function to record transactions and make them transparent, establish identity, establish safe contracts and providing safe payments. What do you think of this new role of the industrial Blockchain solutions?
Georgi Balinov: I believe the financial services industry is a prime candidate for commercial viability of blockchain technology. From capital markets to consumer payments, friction and cost need to be reduced. For example, settlement of securities that trade over the counter (not on exchanges), depending on asset class, can take weeks, involves manual processes and unnecessarily introduces risk into the financial system. On the consumer side, international money transfers running on the corresponding banking system are ripe for efficiency. Currently, it takes days to send money around the world and lifting fees means that the principle is often reduced by meaningful amount. There are many other use cases with dozens of proofs of concept and real business models already in operation in the US. For the financial services industry, this is a game changer.
Dentacoin: It is natural that Blockchain will highly affect the effectiveness of the Healthcare Industry, as the largest industry by market capitalization. Blockchain will establish a direct connection between manufacturers and dentist, which will eliminate some of the intermediate players by using united industrial cryptocurrency, enabling fast, cost-effective and transparent transactions, and providing Blockchain healthcare systems. This will create huge efficiency in terms of time and cost, while at the same time strengthening the interest and power of the patient. What is your opinion on this?
Georgi Balinov: The healthcare industry is highly fragmented from a vendor, region and provider standpoint. There are surely numerous opportunities to apply blockchain technology and logic to streamlining healthcare operations and “value” exchange. In some respects it is not too dissimilar from the financial services industry in that regard. There are massive volumes of transactions that take place with countless participants and ultimate counterparties in various regions in different currencies. Blockchain could help alleviate some of this friction. But as with financial services, common standards agreed upon among a consortium of participants will be required.
Also published on Medium.