Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin. These continue to be hot topics in today’s daily business news. It’s all still a bit of a mystery to most of us. It started with bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) in 2013 and “the idea of a digital currency used to buy anything from music to cupcakes couldn’t have been more exciting, or more timely, as technology continues to advance at lightning speed.”
When we think about earlier disruptive technologies, consider for example, PayPal. It was brought to market during the times when consumers could not imagine money transfers outside of their bank accounts. It expanded rapidly from its inception in 2000 to 2005, when it became a widely adopted and trusted form of transferring money and making payments.
Blockchain is the platform used for verifying and recording transactions that’s at the heart of bitcoin and is considered as having the potential to reshape the global financial system, among other industries.
We sat down with Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer at Yooz North America, a leader in cloud-based AP Automation solutions. Recently, Charpentier gave his thoughts on how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts accounts payable. Now he offers his views on this up-and-coming disruptive technology and how it might impact the AP process. In a good way.
Q: Last year Jami Dimond, CEO of JPMorgan Chase received a lot of attention on the financial news outlets for calling bitcoin a fraud. What do you think of bitcoin as a legitimate form of currency?
Charpentier: One year ago, bitcoin’s value opened at $7,382.45 and it closed today* at $6,473.40, with a total value of nearly $112 billion. While down from a year ago, the value does still continue to rise. So, yes, people and businesses are using bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or investing in it…certainly taking it seriously. Some are becoming wealthy with it. Companies are embracing bitcoin as a form of payment, even Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Intuit, and Expedia. The questions now become, how do we continue to measure the value of bitcoin in relation to money? And beyond that, how do we see it shaping the business world? Even our personal world?
Q: And blockchain as a legitimate way of managing transactions?
Charpentier: Sure! More than 100 banks including Barclays Bank Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have joined the R3 consortium, an operating system for financial markets with a ledger/ blockchain platform to track money transfers and other transactions. The use of blockchain by banks and other companies is secure with new forms of encryption that can keep transaction details private while allowing a network of users to verify them. Nasdaq Inc. is also using blockchain for trading securities in private companies.
In Part 2 of this series, Laurent will talk about how blockchain and bitcoin can impact the AP process. In a good way.