Gaye Soykok

Head of Emerging Technologies

Blockchain isn’t a buzzword… It’s the future

As the Head of Emerging Technologies at Legal & General, Gaye Soykok explains how Blockchain technology will change the way we share data.

Everyone seems to be talking about Blockchain but not many understand it. You have undoubtedly heard about the cryptocurrency frenzy and the popularity of Bitcoin, and you may have even heard that the technology behind it all might change how we do business… but let’s cut to the chase - what’s it all about?

Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It introduced a system where an Internet user can transfer a Bitcoin ‘payment’ to another Internet user, making it not just safe and secure, but also leave an audit trail where everyone knows that the transfer has taken place. The system enables payments to be sent between users without passing through a central authority, such as a bank or payment gateway. It’s created and held electronically.

However, its original usage only scratches the surface for what it can be applied to across industries, and its impact can be huge. Wherever an audit trail is necessary, a shared record is constructed and distributed, or assets of value are created, stored, and shared with required proof of originality, Blockchain is a natural fit. In the finance industry, contract administration is often carried out by several parties, all looking at spreadsheets on individual computers and communicating with each other via emails containing contracts, calculations, payments and claims. This manual process can result in outdated information being referred to and as a result produce slow turnaround times – leading to extra work and unreliable sources of information. By adopting this technology it could enable us to reduce many administration activities and help create lean companies with fewer overheads.

We are already using Blockchain in the workplace, focusing on creating adoption and delivering value today. We’ve co-created a beta-version platform using Blockchain technology with our businesses and tested it with both internal and external clients. The results were so impressive that we are now taking it to the next level; creating more value by tackling more business cases.

By working with industry-recognised parties and Blockchain experts, we can continue being a pioneer in the finance industry; linking our culture of positive, constructive collaboration with digital innovation.

Adopting any emerging technology can be intimidating. How do we know that this new technology is stable, suitable and serves a purpose? Why not just carry on as we are today? The most effective way is to adopt change is to introduce it on a regular, gradual basis, just so long it creates value to our customers, to our business and to society.

I can’t wait to see how these Blockchain networks will transform the way we work together.

We are already using Blockchain in the workplace, focusing on creating adoption and delivering value today.