金融服务是第一个探索区块链技术的行业。除了加密货币,区块链技术还可以用于其他金融服务,如外汇、保险和贷款。公共区块链和许可区块链都有了突破。对于被许可的区块链,银行试图联合起来创建区块链平台,以降低外汇和双边支付的运营费用。例如,高盛（Goldman Sachs）和摩根士丹利（Morgan Stanley）利用IBM授权的区块链来减少繁琐的双边支付业务。对于公共区块链,保险公司采用区块链技术来简化索赔流程。在西弗吉尼亚大学,我们与墨西哥国立自治大学（UNAM）和区块链加速器mousebelt合作,创建了一个新的平台covoir,使叛乱公司能够集成有关真实世界中发生的事情的实时信息,以改进保险索赔流程。我们的系统将人工和机器计算相结合,使其更加智能化,并且能够利用区块链之外的信息对保险单进行实时分布式决策。这种自动化可以降低保险公司的成本。
Saiph Savage：区块链技术在金融业中的作用可以分为两部分：B2B（企业对企业）和B2C（企业对企业）。实际上，区块链技术正在重塑B2B领域的金融产业。利用区块链技术，金融行业可以简化跨境支付的清算和结算流程。传统的跨境支付涉及不同的商业银行、不同国家的中央银行。清算和结算过程通常需要几天时间；但是，区块链可以在几分钟内减少这一过程。例如，VISA利用开源区块链项目（hyperledger fabric framework）提供一个改进的流程，以促进2019年可扩展、许可网络上的金融交易。该项目将覆盖30多个全球贸易通道，目标是到2019年底将市场扩大到90多个。
The characteristics of blockchain are powerful and can be widely used
JRJ：What changes do you think will take place in business services in the following five years？ What impact do you think the blockchain technology has on e-commerce？ We understand that cryptocurrency is one of the earliest applications of block chain technology. Do you think this application perfectly reflects the characteristics of block chain technology? What other scenario applications of block chain technology do you think include?
Saiph Savage：The key characteristics of blockchain technology are decentralized, consensus, Immutability, and accountability。 It is true that cryptocurrency is the earliest application and reflects most of the characteristics of blockchain technology; however, using blockchain technology can do more than cryptocurrency and can affect the world widely and deeply。 Blockchains can be used for the scenario that needs public trust but cannot be completed by existing technology。 For example, blockchain technology can be used in the financial industry, supply chain management, and anti-corruption。
Financial service is the first industry to explore blockchain technology. Beyond cryptocurrency, blockchain technology can be used in other financial services, such as foreign exchange, insurance, and loan. Both public blockchain and permissioned blockchain had a breakthrough. For permissioned blockchains, banks tried to union each other to create blockchain platforms to reduce the operation fee of foreign exchange and bilateral payments. For example, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley used IBM’s permissioned blockchain to reduce the cumbersome bilateral payments operations. For public blockchain, insurance companies adopt blockchain technology to streamline the claim process. At West Virginia University, in collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the blockchain accelerator Mousebelt, we created a new platform Covoir, that empowers insurgence companies to integrate in real-time information about what is happening in the real world to improve the insurance claim process. Our system combines human and machine computation to make it more intelligent and be able to make real-time distributed decisions about an insurance policy using information outside the blockchains. This automation can reduce the cost of insurance companies.
For supply chain management, blockchain technology can present all its potential abilities. Blockchain remains a permanent, indelible, and unalterable history of transactions (records) . Blockchain allows industries to build accountable systems for the supply chain. Companies can integrate IoT with blockchain to record the production steps, such as production time and logistics temperature. These accountable systems help industries easily find out which process is wrong when customers receive poor quality products. For example, Walmart collaborates with IBM, asking its suppliers to record the water quality, temperature when plant and transport mango.
Blockchain, not only implement for commercial usage but also makes some contributions in social good. Governments can use blockchain technology to defeat corruption. For example, we collaborate with Dr. Eber Betanzos from the Chief Audit Office of Mexico-Auditoría Superior de la Federación, ASF to build a blockchain cooperation platform that helps citizens and government trace how the government officials use the budget of community development. Due to the accountability of blockchain, the platform can avoid the officials misappropriate the funding without responsibility.
Blockchain Technology can reshape and share financial Industries
JRJ：How will blockchain technology affect the financial industry？ Is it possible that blockchain will reshape our financial service industry？How long do you think we are from the large-scale application of blockchain technology in the financial industry？
Saiph Savage：The effect of blockchain technology in the financial industry can be separated into two parts: B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to business)。 Actually, blockchain technology is reshaping the financial industries in the B2B area。 Using blockchain technologies, financial industries can streamline the clearing and settlement process of cross-border payments。 Traditional cross-border payment involves different commercial banks, central banks in different countries。 The clearing and settlement process normally requires a few days; however, blockchains can reduce the process in a few minutes。 For example, Visa utilizes open source blockchain project, Hyperledger Fabric framework, to provide an improved process to facilitate financial transactions on a scalable, permissioned network in 2019。 The project will cover more than 30 global trade corridors, with an aim to expand to as many as 90 markets by the end of 2019。
On the other hand, blockchain also can share the financial industries in the B2C area。 Yet, the change will not be about cryptocurrency。 It will more relate to the “blockchain technology” itself。 Due to government regulation and price fluctuation, the cryptocurrencies are hard to use in most of the countries, such as USA, Mexico, and China。 More than cryptocurrency, the immutability and accountability of blockchain allow banks to create digital identities for their customers。 Combine with personal biometrics, individuals can have their unique digital identities。 Having a digital identity can help customers to build their credit reputation and solve the fraud detection problem in insurance。 However, deploying a large-scale application to the public should take a long time。 Currently, the biggest is user adoption。 How people trust it is the main issue to spread the technology widely。 Only 18% of public trust blockchain technology more than large financial institutions。 If the public trust more in the system than in the blockchain technology, the blockchain applications are hard to promote。 Without the government’s help, making the end customers widely using the blockchain financial B2C service would take more than 5 years。
The advantages of cryptocurrency are obvious but still risky
JRJ：Effective regulation of cryptocurrency trading is a common problem for governments around the world， with some parts of the United States recently even calling for a ban on cryptocurrencies. In your opinion， what are the advantages and risks of cryptocurrency transactions compared with traditional payment methods？Is strict government regulation necessary？
Saiph Savage：Whether governments should regular the cryptocurrency is still a debate。 Cross-border transactions and e-commerce are the best scenarios for using cryptocurrency。 The advantage of cryptocurrency is immediate settlements because blockchain technology can be designed and enforced to eliminate the third parties and reduce the process of cross-border transactions。 However, it has a long way to go before becoming widespread because the volatility of cryptocurrency is too high, and the lengthy transaction times are not suitable for daily consumption (but it is still faster than traditional cross-border transactions)。 Because of anonymity, cryptocurrencies are also used for money laundering or illegal transactions。 That’s the main reason why governments calling for a ban on cryptocurrency。
However, strictly regulations often lead to the cryptocurrency transactions move to the underground economy. The transactions are still there, but cannot be supervised by governments. Also, blockchain technology has huge potential to change people’s life. Thus, we think governments should not strictly ban the cryptocurrency, but they have to ask the exchange to do KYC (Know your customer) to avoid money laundering. Moreover, to facilitate the development of blockchain technology, governments should establish an environment that allows the company to research and test their ideas. For example, Mexico introduced a “fintech sandbox” to encourage innovation as a platform that integrates startups and financial technology companies, which can collaborate with other banking institutions to generate new ideas, break schemes of operation and achieve new models of innovative business.