Blockchain technology builds future of finance

CLEVELAND — A finance professor in Northeast Ohio predicts it’s only a matter of time until paper money is no more.

“Our kids are not going to trade the markets like we did when we were younger or our parents,” said Greg Harmon. “It’s going to be a very different world.”

what you need to know

  • The security of blockchain technology is generating advancements in the financial industry
  • The immutable nature of encrypted data on blockchains is leading to increased acceptance
  • Because the information is held by multiple computers, the information can be verified quickly and easily.

It’s already a very different world from when Harmon first entered the financial industry in the late ’80s.

“I had a friend who worked in a bank and he said, ‘Why don’t you work here with me?’” Harmon said. “I said, ‘OK,’ and the rest is history.”

At that time, the engineering student moved his love of math in a different direction.

“Understanding how money works and how the inner workings of these things happen has always been something that just interests me,” he said.

Harmon now shares the knowledge he has gained with students as an assistant professor of banking and finance at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

He said that lately a hot topic for the conference is cryptocurrency with most of his students wanting to know more.

“Because they have friends or family members who have been involved in this, and their friends are either making a lot of money or telling them they are making a lot of money,” Harmon said.

The fintech industry, or financial technology, is nothing new.

“Technology has actually been in finance since computers began,” he said.

It is the transition to decentralized finance, or taking the bank out of the transaction environment, that, he said, is paving the way for the future. He predicts that the next 10 to 20 years could see some major changes starting today.

“It looks like you have a wallet,” he said, explaining his prediction for future financial interactions. “It’s not the wallet you have in your back pocket, it’s an electronic wallet… that connects you to everything you do.”

Bitcoin brought the concept to light.

“It becomes, not just encrypted and anonymous, but immutable, immutable,” Harmon said.

The idea of ​​a ledger that widely distributes information encrypted on the blockchain means information can be quickly and easily verified.

“It’s on my computer, it’s on your computer, it’s on millions of other computers,” he said.

However, the adoption of these technological tools has been slow.

“Older people tend to be more resistant to changing the way they do things,” he said. “That also applies to companies.”

But he said it is a trend that is going nowhere.