In an interview with WatersTechnology, UBS Group's CIO Oliver Bussmann discussed his plans for the future and how he has set his sights on technology that he believes will transform how companies such as UBS Group operate. Digital ledger technology or as he calls it, Blockchain, is one such technology on his radar.
Discussing the oft-repeated blockchain, Bussmann says:
"Sharing my own thoughts on Blockchain and the ensuing conversation behind that really convinced me that we need to spend more time on this.. I genuinely think it will massively disrupt the buy and sell sides, payment streams and settlement alike, to the point where you can see that these things behave in totally new ways in five years."
Believing Bitcoin to be insecure and lacking trust, Bussmann's approach will be one of divorcing bitcoin the unit of account from Bitcoin the underlying technology due to the negative media attention Bitcoin regularly receives in the media. Should that occur, Bussmann believes the "whole system will change."
With Blockchain, it's all about simplifying the point of reference: In all different asset classes, anything that is a contract, a trader can reference digitally.. The key challenge is to make it available securely and to build more trust—to separate Blockchain from the news we're regularly hearing about Bitcoin exchanges shutting down, like Bitstamp did in January. As an industry we need to build something to protect these assets. But if that happens, I believe the whole system will change. Internet-based exchanges based on these ledgers that will make assets tradable immediately, and the amount of effort to execute these things will be a fraction of what it was, so we'll really move into a real-time environment going forward. You need a critical mass of parties in the end, so it will take time, but the advantages are real and very competitive. Not this year, maybe, but in the next few years."
Despite attempts by the media to replace Bitcoin with Blockchain, none of the people interviewed to date have expounded how they intend to secure their own blockchain.