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Blockchain tech to impact financial services sector
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Blockchain tech to impact financial services sector

Nick Abrahams, Norton Rose Fulbright

Blockchain technology has the potential to improve clients’ end-to-end experience but the legal profession must consider its regulation, according to Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers.

Nick Abrahams, APAC head of technology and innovation, told those gathered at Norton Rose Fulbright’s Unlocking the Blockchain event last week that “Blockchain will radically impact the financial services sector”.

Mr Abrahams – along with Norton Rose Fulbright consultant Tessa Hoser and senior representatives from ASIC, CBA and the ASX – were part of a panel discussion about blockchain technology and regulation at the event.

The session focused on the potential applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, and the key legal and regulatory considerations for those wishing to use the new technology.

Michael Eidel, executive general manager cash flow and transaction services at CBA, emphasised the importance of identifying how blockchain will help to remove client’s pain points in end-to-end processes.

“Trade finance and simplification of the many layers in supply chains are likely to be among the first sectors where cost efficiencies and better customer outcomes could be achieved by using blockchain technology,” Mr Eidel said.

The Norton Rose Fulbright speakers also discussed regulation.

“As with any innovative and disruptive new technology, the regulatory developments that sit alongside its adoption are front-of-centre in the minds of many of our clients,” Mr Abraham said.

Ms Hoser said key issues remain in establishing appropriate regulatory settings, both domestically and internationally, but there are promising signs of collaboration between the various regulators.

“The ability to use distributed ledgers to hold information for ‘know your customer’ checks could result in quicker and safer identification processes in a range of transactions,” she said.

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