Blockchain: Tomorrow’s world today?

Students on EDHEC Business School’s MSc in Strategy, Organisation & Consulting have had the chance to gain first-hand insights into the blockchain industry from some of its leading experts.

 

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Written on 04 Apr 2019.


 

Blockchain technology is a relatively new industry, but already worth $200 billion. ConsenSys is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing blockchain companies, created by Canadian entrepreneur and co-founder of cryptocurrency platform Ethereum, Joe Lubin. In February 2019, the company sent a team to EDHEC to hold a session on ‘the power to act in a digitally transformed world’.

Blockchain technologies have the potential to significantly change the way many business activities are conducted,” says Michel Philippart, EDHEC’s Professor of Supply Strategy and MSc in Strategy, Organisation & Consulting programme director. “Beyond the hype of speculative cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology has the potential to create significant value in business applications, primarily in supply chains: it provides greater transparency, more security, traceability, efficiency, and speed, and reduces transaction costs.” EDHEC students need to understand this technology and be able to separate the fad from the opportunities, he adds.

ConsenSys agrees. Take the issues of advertising and privacy, for example. Nobody wants to see internet ads anymore. Enter a new kind of browser – Brave – which blocks website trackers and ads. It uses blockchain technology to connect users and publishers in a transparent system that guarantees privacy and authenticity. The browser is currently attracting six million active users a month. And this is only one of the many initiatives where blockchain can help manage data, privacy, and trust more efficiently than any other approach.

Blockchain “technology will drastically change and improve the way people will use the Internet and how the Internet will work in the coming years,” says Jérôme de Tychey, Solutions Director at ConsenSys. “New business models are made possible and lots of use-cases haven't been discovered yet. This is definitely a new land of opportunity.”

During the session, students were introduced to several key concepts, including consensus mechanisms, the problem of double spending and 51% attacks...After a three-hour discussion with the ConsenSys team at EDHEC, I better understand the challenges of blockchain and the opportunities it presents,” says Maxime Poirier, a MSc in Strategy, Organisation & Consulting student. “I’m grateful that they shared this new and complex topic with us.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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