Blockchain technology builds future of finance – Spectrum News 1

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CLEVELAND — A finance professor in northeast Ohio predicts it’s only a matter of time until paper currency no longer exists.  
“Our children are not going to be dealing in markets like we did when we were younger or our parents did,” said Greg Harmon. “It’s gonna be a very different world.”
It’s already a very different world from when Harmon first entered the finance industry in the late 80s.
“Had a friend who was working at a bank and said, ‘Why don’t you work here with me?’” Harmon said. “I said, ‘OK,’ and the rest is history.”
At the time, the engineering student moved his love for math in a different direction.
“Understanding how money works and how the inner workings of these things happen has always been something that just interests me,” he said. 
Harmon is now sharing the knowledge he’s gained with students as an assistant professor of banking and finance in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
He said lately a hot topic for lecture is cryptocurrency with a majority of his students wanting to know more.
“Because they have friends or family that have been dealing in this, and their friends are either making a lot of money or telling them they’re making a lot of money,” Harmon said. 
The fintech, or financial technology, industry is nothing new. 
“Actually, technology’s been in finance all through since computers started,” he said. 
It’s the transition toward decentralized finance, or taking the bank out of the environment of the transaction, that he said is paving the way for the future. He predicts the next 10 to 20 years could see some big changes from today. 
“It looks like you’ve got a wallet,” he said, explaining his prediction for financial interactions in the future. “It’s not the wallet you’ve got in your back pocket, it’s an electronic wallet…that attaches you to everything else that you do.”
Bitcoin brought the concept to light. 
“It gets to be, not only is it encrypted and anonymous, but immutable, unchangeable,” Harmon said. 
The idea of a ledger widely distributing encrypted information on the blockchain means information is verifiable quickly and easily.
“It’s on my computer, it’s on your computer, it’s on millions of other computers,” he said. 
However, adoption of these tech tools has been slow. 
“Older people tend to be more resistant to changing how they do things,” he said. “That goes for companies, too.”
But, he said it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere.