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The Business Blockchain by Vitalik Buterin, William Mougayar

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4 BLOCKCHAIN IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

“The worst place to develop a new business model is from within your existing business model.”

–CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN

FINANCIAL SERVICES INSTITUTIONS will be challenged by how much they are willing to bend their business models to accommodate the weight of the blockchain. Their default position will be to only slightly open the door, expecting to let as many benefits seep in, with the least amount of opening. The challengers (mostly startups) will try to kick that door open as much as possible, expecting to throw the incumbents off balance.

Much of the blockchain’s technological innovation in financial services is driven by startups. But financial institutions, like any other industry, can innovate by applying that technology. Startups are like a strange beast when it comes to how banks view them. They will first get examined and kept at close proximity, but benefits do not happen via symbiosis. In reality, large organizations are degrees removed from most startups. Their initial interest is like visiting animals in the zoo. The litmus test is to bring the technology home to see if it will survive domestication.

Any large organization will be challenged when facing large amounts of external innovation that surpasses their internal abilities to absorb it or usurp it.

Industry activities are coming from two different directions. On one hand, startups and technology products and services companies are entering the market. On the other hand, ...

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