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Blockchain in a Digital World

Blockchain technology has certainly attracted attention since 2014; from Bitcoin’s murky reputation and increased adoption, to the World Economic Forum paper published in 2016 pointing to the technology as one to revolutionize financial services’ infrastructure. Somewhere in between, the financial services industry has leapt into gear and an ecosystem is emerging that comprises incumbent banks and financial institutions, Fintech start-ups, peer-to-peer payments, and distributed autonomous organizations built on top of blockchain technology. The definition of disruption put forward by Clayton Christensen in 1997 has been built on and revised over the last two decades to describe a continuous and relative process. Certain methods have been shown to arm against disruption, in particular, business model innovation. This research is based on a series of interviews with high-profile industry players with the aim to gather insight as to how business models could change. The interviews cover insight from within highly regulated financial services, where process and entire markets are said to be disrupted, and outside of financial services, where new business models are emerging with the aim to reach new customers whose needs are not being currently met.