Home / Business / The chains of freedom

The chains of freedom

Цепи свободы

A new financial revolution will lead to the collapse of the global banking system

Vice-President of Sberbank Andrei Sharov said recently that over the next ten years the banking system will disappear. The reason for this will be not a fall in oil prices or some other economic catastrophe, the spread of a fundamentally new payment technology — the blockchain (blockchain), which the banks as intermediaries in financial transactions is simply not needed.

Chain reaction

Chain of blocks of transactions called the blockchain easier, first became a subject of discussion financiers at the end of 2000-ies, after the appearance of bitcoin — in fact, it ensure the functioning of the cryptocurrency. At the heart of this technology lies the principle of peer-to-peer, similar to the system of filesharing torrent. The advantage is that it has no specific centre in the creation of data packets include the participation of all network users.

To destroy such a network, disconnect all computers in the network. For this reason, it is, for example, are invulnerable to hacker attacks. All information is in the public domain, but it is impossible to change, because when you try to edit the source record will be automatically changed and the key of the particular transaction (e.g., transfer money from user a to user B). If the application for the transaction is entered into the system, it remains there forever — as the indestructible brick in the wall. Theoretically, manipulation of the system is possible only if you control more than 50 percent of computing power of the system, but experience with bitcoin such cases does not know.

Thus, the popularity of the system is provided by the combination of two factors: openness and security. They should add a third and no less important: no need for intermediaries. In order to conduct transactions in a decentralized system of transaction neither banks nor insurance companies, which require for their services a fee. Moreover — as the range of actions that can be performed through the blockchain, in fact is not limited to, threatened and many of the public service.

At first, financial regulators and the banking institutions perceived the blockchain system and the most common of them — bitcoin — with a slight sneer, as a few game geeks. However, in the shortest possible time, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has surpassed all expectations and became to cause fear among the powerful. If in the beginning of its history, bitcoin was trading at 10 cents apiece, by the end of 2013 the cost was close to a thousand dollars, that is, the potential profit could be a million percent. Later, bitcoin fell more than the ruble, like hoverintent of Sberbank German Gref, but even taking this into account, in the amount of cryptocurrency has risen hundreds of times. Similarly, increased its turnover.

Цепи свободы

Robocoin ATMs allow you to exchange bitcoins for “real” money

Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

At the same time, financial authorities around the world have begun to understand that to deal with cryptocurrencies is not very productive and began to attempt to enter the work bloschanevych systems in the borders of legality. Practice there are different: for example, in Japan, bitcoins are traded as a means of payment. In Russia the virtual money is in a dual position: they are, on the one hand, not allowed, but no outright ban, though the Ministry of Finance promotes this idea. However, such a law would destroy such “money surrogates” (the official definition of the bill) as gift and loyalty cards, bonus points and airline miles, and it would be a serious blow to consumers and business.

So in relation to cryptocurrency and blockcanvas technology in General there is a legislative vacuum. In this regard, some companies have to figure out how to use this situation to his advantage. So, the payment system Qiwi develops its own unit — bitroll, which is due to start later this year. If the experience is successful, it could inspire and other market participants. The result is a nightmare come true regulators: the country will receive tens, hundreds, and perhaps thousands of mini-banks with right to issue.

In General, the technology of the blockchain is not confined to the cryptocurrency is only the most obvious but not the only method of its use. Operations peer-to-peer can be performed by translating the most common means of payment via digital wallets of users. It is this prospect interested in commercial banks, since the system of direct payments is interesting not only for ordinary users, but also the giants of the financial industry — for them, the savings could reach billions of dollars per year.

The society of friends of the blockchain

In September 2015 42 leading banks of the world have United in a consortium, led by R3 startup based in new York. The aim is to study the technology of the blockchain for the adaptation of it in modern financial system. In R3 consider the opportunities of the new system are virtually endless. CEO David Rutter compared the value of the blockchain for Finance with the advent of the Internet for mass media: the latter has not disappeared, but radically transformed.

Цепи свободы

American Mike Caldwell has been minting bitcoins

Photo: George Frey / Getty Images

The blockchain has decided to learn, and regulators. In March, the Bank of England has agreed to cooperate with researchers from University College London, following which it is planned to create a centralized digital currency, which could be an alternative bitcoin. At the same time the regulator has involved dozens of young interns, intended to create a General concept of such a currency — a kind of crowdsourcing. The British Central Bank recognized that this technology carries some risks, but is also the origin of “ideas that change the future.”

In the inevitable spread of bloschanevych technology is not in doubt and the Bank of Russia. So, in February, the Deputy Director of Department of regulation of calculations of Central Bank Andrey Shamraev expressed support for the new technology, noting that it is valid only using classic currency, bitcoin and its analogues are not necessary, as in Russia and without that there is a system of electronic payments.

Supporters of the widespread use of the blockchain presented at Sberbank — in the person of the same Herman Gref. Last year he said that the technology provides enormous opportunities for the safe sharing of information, and reported that there is expertise to translate on it the whole system of registration — for example, legal entities, rights to real estate and so on.

At the same time Vice-President of Sberbank of Balls believes that the blockchain technologies are a threat to the very existence of the banking system — to such an extent that in ten years he “had nowhere to go to work”. But judging by how interest the novelty of a foreign credit institution, to unambiguously interpret the future is not worth it. First, the bandwidth blockcanvas network — such as bitcoin — is very small and thousands of times inferior to the capacity of payment systems like Visa or MasterCard.

Цепи свободы

Accept cryptocurrency at The D Casino in Las Vegas

Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

In addition, many banking tasks — for example, storage of deposits or lending, especially in large amounts, — will remain relevant. Real losses can be expected in the field of mediation, but in some extent, will win and the banks themselves. Unconditional problems arise from brokerage companies and different clearing systems, as the gambling will be available to millions of users directly. Anyway the global financial system in the near future expect a real revolution. It is doubtful that all credit institutions will survive, but those that can adapt will be the new market leaders. The most important thing that will win consumers the prospect of cheaper financial services is drawn quite clearly.

Check Also

UK house prices fall by 1.8% during year amid higher mortgage costs

Property market weak, says Nationwide, which expects prices to remain flat or drop slightly in …