So I made a slightly provocative comment, as it turned out, during my keynote at PaymentsNZ. It was picked up and referenced by Richard Meadows in yesterday’s article: “[Skinner] said the coding behind virtual currency Bitcoin could also prove to be enormously transformational, potentially even replacing the SWIFTnetwork for inter-bank payments”.
This created a lot of debate, with many views expressed that showed a lack of understanding of what Bitcoin is amongst the audience. This is not their fault. Bitcoin is a fledgling technonerds method of recreating banking, but the fact that not one banker knew what the blockchain was (I asked this question and for hands to be raised; the only hand raised was by the Bitcoin guy in the audience) is just incredible.
It astounds me that I’m encountering this at many conferences. I was at our inaugural Fintech Scotland conference, and asked the same question there. Blank faces. I asked the same question at SIBOS. Nope.
This is embarrassing to be honest.
We have a technology that is being developed in the open for almost six years now, that has more compute power behind it on a decentralised basis than any open source project in history, and that could fundamentally destroy the banking system … and only a miniscule of bankers are trying to understand it.