The Blockchain Opportunity Summit was held in Manhattan recently; industry leaders and blockchain visionaries were on hand to discuss the technology’s implications for diverse firms representing many sectors of the economy, from finance to real estate to healthcare. This was represented in the opening panel discussion, which featured Judd Bagley of Overstock.com, Ragnar Lifthrasir, Founder of the International Blockchain Real Estate Association, and Laura Shin of Forbes, one of the most prominent journalists covering blockchain technologies today. The conversation was lively and informative, bringing the industry leaders in attendance up to speed on the importance of recognizing blockchain technologies as relevant to all industries, not simply those in the financial sector.
One of the most exciting technologies developed with the underlying blockchain infrastructure is that of smart contracts. The Blockchain Opportunity Summit devoted an entire panel to smart contracts. Ron Quaranta, EVP of Loyyal and Mark Smith, CEO of Symbiont provided their experiences with smart contracts and their utility for any industry, especially those with extensive regulatory oversight. Smart contracts have the potential to drastically reduce the regulatory and overall paperwork burden in healthcare. They provide an exceedingly private and secure environment for the verification of service fulfillment, as well as creating an indestructible record of actions for insurers and clients alike.
One of the final panels of note dealt with the current legal environment pertaining to blockchain technologies. Though blockchain implementations like Bitcoin have faced strict legal scrutiny, panelists argued that the increased attention of federal agencies on blockchain technologies adds to the legitimacy and prevalence of the framework, and that it is up to industry leaders now to collaborate with these agencies to develop industry-friendly regulations going forward.