It started out as a way for people to exchange electronic cash quickly and anonymously. Eight years on, experts hope that blockchain technology will revolutionize payments in Canada, and create a healthy tech economy in the process.
Most people familiar with it will have first run across blockchain technology in the form of bitcoin, the electronic currency first launched in early 2009. The first bitcoin transactions were worth next to nothing in dollar terms, but the currency has grown since then. Today, the network is processing 350,000 confirmed transactions per day, worth about US$646 million.
No wonder some think the blockchain could fuel the next payments revolution. Canadian author and business specialist Don Tapscott is so inspired by it that he started the Blockchain Research Institute, a thinktank that will focus on collaborative innovation for blockchain use cases. Financial services features among its eight research areas.