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Graduate | Dec 01, 2017 |

MBA students brush up on blockchain

Blockchain.

It’s a popular topic, but not that many people truly understand what it is, what it does, and what it means for the future of the finance industry.

Gabelli School MBA students learned these things and more, courtesy of an invitation from Mario Gabelli to the blockchain panel at the Digital Evolution in Financial Services conference, presented by Gabelli & Company.

Students had the chance to hear from and speak with the panelists: Mike Bodson, CEO of DTCC; Jennifer Peve, executive director, office of fintech strategy at DTCC; and Ricardo Correia, managing director of R3.

Here are what some students had to say about what they learned:

“Everyone is talking about how blockchain is changing the world right now. But how does it change the world? Why it is important? As MBA students, we should be prepared for adopting this change in the future.”

Nannan Shi, MBA ’19

“I’ve always heard bits and pieces of the blockchain story as a vehicle for making the market for Bitcoin but never really had the pros and cons explained in a clear and concise way from such experts in the field.”

Joe Catania, MBA ’18

“Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize all industries, but we just don’t know to what depth yet. For example, in healthcare, we could potentially use blockchain to have one set of permanent medical records for every person in the world that any hospital or doctor can have access to … Blockchain takes away most of the risk factors of doing transactions because all transactions are recorded and permanent.”

Edmund Sun, MBA ’19

“As data silos are connected to blockchains, benefits build up: Costly and time-consuming reconciliations are all but eliminated, and an instantaneously verifiable audit trail discourages bad actors. Data integrity is assured, and financial institutions gain a superior platform for up-to-the-minute analytics and real-time reporting, a service their clients value greatly.”

Pei Chen (Elsie) Hsieh, MBA ’19

“I appreciate Bodson trying to emphasize the need for concern about integrating blockchain with other currently established and widely used tech systems like cloud networks. There’s a clear security risk there and I’ve noticed … experts will mention the encryption component of blockchain like it’s a panacea for guarding against data theft or hacking. It’s an excellent benefit of blockchain, but it’s painfully clear that this feature will make people complacent and reckless, not only toward security risks with blockchain itself, but especially with the less secure systems that will need to be integrated with it.”

Dominic Swain, MBA ’19

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