Lifelong LearningFrontiers of Finance

Frontiers of Finance

Social Networks and Peer-to-Peer Blockchain Networks

About the Class

Over the last few years, technology has disrupted an enormous number of sectors including the entertainment, retail, hotel, transportation, agricultural and mining businesses among others. Finance is an industry that is suffering the same type of disruption. Though the finance sector is much more important in today’s world than ever, research has shown that there have been no efficiency gains in banking since the 1880s. In particular, since the Global Financial Crisis, it has been especially apparent that banking is inefficient, costly, riddled with conflicts of interest, prone to unethical behavior and, most worrisome of all, able to generate huge crises. At its core, finance is an information business with three basic functions: it matches savers to borrowers, it provides a payment system, and it provides insurance. These functions have traditionally been difficult to replicate by outsiders and customers have had few alternatives to regulated financial intermediaries. This course provides an introduction to how these functions are all being disrupted by new and innovative financing innovations and offers benefits to both participants from the finance industry as well as non-finance participants. For participants from the finance industry, the course offers an overview of how technology is changing the way they perform their functions, discusses how they can incorporate new innovative technologies in their own firms, and offers guidelines in dealing with rapid change in the finance industry. For non-finance participants, the course offers an overview of new types of financing innovations, alternatives to traditional banks and financial intermediaries, and discusses ways to lower financing costs.

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