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Finance Pros, It’s Time to Embrace the Digital Economy

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 8/11/2017

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Corporate treasury and finance professionals can get a preview of the 2017 AFP MindShift Breakfast with an August 29 webinar featuring blockchain guru Don Tapscott.

Tapscott, who published the first bestseller about the web in business, “The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence” in 1995, will share his insights on how digital disruption is impacting corporate treasury and finance. He’ll also weigh in on how all of the dangers he detected over 20 years ago have now come to pass.

Tapscott believes that we are entering a new paradigm in technology. At the heart of this new paradigm is blockchain. “Blockchain represents nothing less than the second era of the internet,” he said at a recent conference. “It can be at the heart of a new financial system if we do it right and we time it right.”

Specifically, Tapscott sees blockchain as a way to cut out the middleman in cross-border transactions. Additionally, it may be able to do away with three-day settlement times, because in these transactions, the payment and the settlement are the same activity. “I think this is the way to get to real-time,” he said.

In a recent interview with AFP, Tapscott noted that while the “Blockchain Revolution” won’t happen overnight, businesses should still move forward with exploring ways to implement the technology. The problem, he believes, is that “companies are moving too slowly because leaders of old paradigms have difficulty embracing the new. We’ve got 40 years of thinking about what is information technology in our companies. It’s hard to break free from that, just like it was 20 plus years ago to think about this thing called the internet.”

But again, “if we do it right,” Tapscott believes businesses will come around—and treasury and finance may very well be the ones driving the change. “The finance function, obviously, will be completely transformed by this and see that this is one of these times when we all get to be a leader if we want to,” he said.

Register for the complimentary webinar Reflections on the Digital Economy: The New Social Contract here.

Tapscott will also be speaking about the blockchain revolution at the AFP 2017 MindShift Breakfast this October in San Diego. Learn more here.

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