The FinTech Forum: The Different Uses of Blockchain in Financial Services

On October 30-31, 2018, the FinTech Forum took place in Montréal. It was an opportunity for finance and technology enthusiasts from all over the world to get together and discuss the issues of tomorrow. Much anticipated, blockchain technology was at the heart of these debates.

Fine line between fascination and reality

Blockchain continues to gain a foothold in financial services and is attracting more and more players, but how exactly is it used in the industry? How can it be deployed in different business lines while the regulatory institutions are still developing the legal framework?

Richard Carleton, CEO of CNSX Markets Inc. and Tom Robinson, Chief Data Officer and co-founder of Elliptic, provided some insight to clarify the grey areas surrounding blockchain.

Reducing costs and margins for error, improving processes, providing transparency and instant access to information about transactions completed – it’s hard to quantify the uses and benefits of blockchain as there are so many and such a variety.

Often considered as revolutionary as the birth of the internet, blockchain technology faces numerous obstacles in its implementation.

Incorporating blockchain in a business logic can be a nightmare, there are so many roadblocks. One such difficulty is imposing a legal framework on this technology.

Another significant aspect, too often, blockchain is associated with cryptocurrency and of course, Bitcoin. This is why businesses often meet with reluctance from financial institutions which still do not have concrete data on the value and volatility of cryptocurrency. As a result, for said companies, seeking financing or even simply opening a bank account could be quite a bit more complicated. Despite these restrictions, no other technology is able to propose what blockchain offers (transparency, immutability, security, etc.).

A challenge highlighted by one of the panel speakers was auditing cryptocurrency–today very few businesses in the world are able to offer such expertise. This represents an extraordinary window for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and its subsidiary Catallaxy. By relying on the strength of the firm’s network and the experience and credibility it has acquired over time, Catallaxy is able to offer a unique cryptocurrency audit service. Michel Besner, General Manager of Catallaxy, agrees:

“At Catallaxy, we help businesses audit their cryptocurrency using a very detailed approach. We are able to demonstrate the existence and prove ownership of a cryptocurrency for the business. This also involves the auditability of custodians to demonstrate that cryptocurrency portfolios are properly managed.”

Catallaxy will play a leading role with the upcoming arrival in our blockchain ecosystems. This is a great opportunity for the firm and its subsidiary to shine globally.