Blockchain’s potential creating ‘new Digital Age’

May 6, 2019

Published by Harvest ETFs

The message at a conference in Toronto looking at all aspects of Blockchain technology was that while the crash of crypto currencies has grabbed the headlines, the revolution behind the currencies is rapidly spreading.

The two-day Blockchain Revolution Global event was organized by Don Tapscott who heads up the Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute. In his opening remarks, Tapscott said the ability of this shared ledger technology to change business, is creating a second Digital Age. He compared those who doubt the staying power of Blockchain to those who thought the Internet was a fad in 1995.

Tapscott, who specializes in the social and economic impact of technology, said the Internet has emerged as a medium that reproduces information with the original stored elsewhere. This can include e-transfers of money, credit card loyalty points, votes, or deeds and contracts.

This means a middle man stores and keeps track of transactions, whether a bank, government agency, or third-party data collector. These centralized mechanisms slow business transactions and the information they store can be hacked. They also introduce a layer of expense through fees and capture personal data which they resell without any payment to us. We give our consent in long, poorly understood legal disclaimers when we use their services, Tapscott said. It undermines our privacy, he said.

Blockchain applications remove the need for a middle man, cutting costs and speeding up transactions. They do this because transactions are shared among partners in a contract or business deal, so each has the same information. Everyone can see the transactions when entered and once entered nobody can change them.

Tapscott noted 10 areas where these applications are being used from government and banking to logistics, transportation and food safety.

Harvest Portfolio Group Inc. launched Canada’s first Blockchain ETF in February, 2018. The Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX: HBLK) holds 20 stocks exposed to the development and implementation of Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Ten core large cap holdings account for approximately 46% of the ETF. They include IBM, which was a sponsor of the Toronto Conference.

The ETF had an average market capitalization of US $160 billion as at April 30, 2019, an average dividend yield of 0.67% and a management fee of 0.65%.

For more on the Harvest Blockchain Technologies ETF, click here.

The views and/or opinions expressed in the blog are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Blog contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision. 


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