Book Review: Blockchain Revolution By Don And Alex Tapscott

Traces the emergence of blockchain as an instrument of trust.

Highlights the importance of blockchain in financial markets.

Details the challenges faced by blockchain technology.

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, Portfolio Penguin/Random House, 2016

This 348-page panoramic view shows how fintech is disrupting traditional finance and how bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology is changing the global economy. If you are in an incumbent bank, insurance company, pension fund or managing assets, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World is required reading. Co-authors Don and Alex Tapscott are deeply knowledgeable, based on Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics (2006) and Macrowikinomics (2010), while Alex Tapscott is CEO of Northwest Passage Ventures, a former investment banker now advising and building blockchain companies. His 2014 report on governing digital currencies for the Global Solutions Network was published by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

I became deeply immersed in this book in preparation for the expert workshop on Fintech for Sustainable Development of the UN Inquiry on Sustainable Finance to which Ethical Markets contributed a paper on Reforming Electronic Markets and Trading (2014). I was not surprised to see Canadian experts and market players punching above their weight as they have at the United Nations for decades. For example, we followed the development of fintech firms including IEX and supported its successful application to the SEC as now the nation’s 13th national stock exchange. The same kind of technology-based market reforms as IEX’s famous “speed bump” also are explored along with the current 1,379 fintech startups with combined funding of $33 billion now disrupting legacy finance.

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