Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Still Wondering what Blockchain is? Time to get Acquainted

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says blockchain is a real thing, while ex-Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins just got heavily involved.

Many business leaders haven even begun the use blockchain in retail, however, there are many who are still in the dark about blockchain, which some say has the potential to upend how companies do business—and not just in the financial services sector.

Blockchain’s mysteriousness for the uninitiated could have something to do with its current lack of widespread popularity. It’s also based on a concept that’s not always easy to picture and explain.

Initially associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a block chain is a database that contains an ever-growing list of transaction records. Rather than existing in a single location, the database is shared among multiple computers, allowing anybody to do business with each other without having to go through a central intermediary, such as a corporation.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to re-invent the way we use money and contribute to a finance system that’s high-quality, low-cost, secure, fair and transparent.

Today, an individual might tap their debit or credit card at a cash register to buy a coffee, but it could still takes days for the transaction to settle and the money to be deducted from their account. Blockchain eliminates the need for a settlement, saving companies time and money. By design, blockchains are also inherently resistant to modification, providing a secure and trustworthy record of transaction.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to re-invent the way we use money and contribute to a finance system that’s high-quality, low-cost, secure, fair and transparent,” Jenkins said this week after announcing he was joining the board of fast-growing startup Blockchain. Jenkins, who was Barclays CEO for three years through to 2015, has described blockchain as an “Uber moment” for banking.

JP Morgan’s Dimon, meanwhile, while skeptical of bitcoin’s potential, is more enthusiastic about blockchain. “Yes, it’s real. It can probably reduce the cost of doing business,” he said early this year. “If it proves to be cheap and secure, it would be adopted for a whole bunch of stuff.”

Indeed, plenty of other industries could be affected—even disruptors such as Uber. “You don’t need a $65 billion corporation to do what Uber does,” Tapscott CEO Don Tapscott recently told Fortune. “All the transactions are resolved not through a big corporation but through a consensus community that’s establishing every ten minutes a block of what has occurred.”

Blockchain technology deployment is actually occurring more aggressively in several industries other than in financial services, according to a new survey by Deloitte. After speaking to 308 senior executives at U.S.companies, the professional services firm found the technology, media, telecoms, consumer products and manufacturing sectors were in the lead. About 30% of respondents in those industries said their company had already brought blockchain into production, compared to 12% of financial services company executives.

However, overall, 39% of senior executives said they had little or no knowledge about blockchain technology.

“Most financial services companies have been involved in blockchain via their labs, investments, and pilots for a while now,” Deloitte principal Eric Piscini said. “Other industries are now starting to realize the potential for disruption, as well as the new opportunities that blockchain creates.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.