The World Economic Forum, the international organization best known for its annual meeting of academics, intellectuals, capitalists, and policy makers in Davos​, Switzerland, has unveiled an explainer all about blockchain technology, the same technology that underlies the digital currency, Bitcoin​. Presented to such an influential audience, this lends credibility to the technology as more than just a passing fad, and something to be paid close attention to. (For more, see: What is Blockchain? (video))

Blockchain Explained at Davos

The annual meeting at Davos is a meeting where powerful people and thinkers discuss important issues that concern the global economy and its stability. That blockchain technology was introduced this year is therefore an important step for its legitimacy. The presentation discussed the role of Bitcoin as a decentralized, bank-less monetary system, but also extolled the virtues of blockchain for many other financial applications. These include settling and clearing all sorts of financial transactions, tracking and recording payments, tax collection and reducing back office paperwork. It points out that in the last year, the banking sector spent around $75 million on blockchain, which is projected to exceed $400 million by the year 2019. (See also: Blockchain Technology To Revolutionize Traditional Banking)

 Estimated bank spending on blockchain tech

Source: World Economic Forum, Quartz

In addition to financial use cases, the Davos presentation also considers novel applications such as combating music piracy and online fraud, creating secure identity systems, and even cracking down on crimes such as human trafficking. The report goes on to say:

The technology can work for almost every type of transaction involving value, including money, goods and property. Its potential uses are almost limitless: from collecting taxes to enabling migrants to send money back to family in countries where banking is difficult. Blockchain could also help to reduce fraud because every transaction would be recorded and distributed on a public ledger for anyone to see.

Blockchain technology was presented at this year's conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Attended by powerful thinkers and policy makers from around the developed world, such a presentation lends credibility to blockchain's place in the financial sector and beyond, with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to be invested in this distrubuted ledger technology in the coming years. (For more, see: Top 3 Books to Learn About Blockchain)

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