JRJ：What changes do you think will take place in business services in the following five years?
John Mercurio：We will continue to see disruption in small and medium-sized companies that are using new technology to challenge incumbents。 I think we may see applications that implement best aspects of several emerging technologies, including blockchain, IoT, and AI。 We will also see more governments around the world starting to embrace blockchain technology to help improve the systems and services that they offer their citizens。
It has the ability to accelerate e-commerce （both internally and externally）. By improving supply chain management and smart contracts. For example， blockchain technology can build new levels of trust and security that will make e-commerce more seamless for all parties.
In the next five years, we should expect a lot of changes in business operations as we implement these new technologies into established processes。 Blockchain technology is now being implemented into built-in cloud services that are easy to deploy and manage。 Such a transformation will enable more businesses to apply the technology and make their processes transparent for end-customers and partners。 This will lead to higher compliance by businesses and help enable effective data exchanges in global business services, as well as lower costs needed for audit and control operations。
JRJ：We understand that cryptocurrency is one of the earliest applications of blockchain technology。 Do you think this application perfectly reflects the characteristics of blockchain technology? What are the other applications of blockchain technology?
John Mercurio：At its core， blockchain technology enables users to transfer assets to one another without a centralized authority. Hence， the ability for people to transfer money is a patent application for this technology. Other applications can be found where there are interactions by multiple parties that require security， trust and transparency. Blockchain technology has the ability to accelerate， improve and simplify business practices. Today’s IT infrastructures are complex， and slowed down by multiple validations， checks， and balances. When you embed verification， trust and security into the systems itself， that’s a game changer.
Promising government and business use cases notably include document verification， governmental registries， supply chain， procurement， finance services， e-auctions， digital rights management， digital ID， KYC and voting.
JRJ：How will blockchain technology affect the financial industry？ Is it possible that blockchain will reshape our financial service industry？ How long do you think we are from the large-scale application of blockchain technology in the financial industry？
John Mercurio：It is more than possible； it is already happening. Blockchain technology is already improving the financial industry by lowering transaction costs and the time required to execute transactions. It also increases transparency and simplifies auditing. We are at least a few years away from full or mainstream adoption of blockchain technology across the financial industry， but it is happening very quickly.
JRJ：Effective regulation of cryptocurrency trading is a common problem for governments around the world， with some parts of the United States recently even calling for a ban on cryptocurrencies. In your opinion， what are the advantages and risks of cryptocurrency transactions compared with traditional payment methods？ Is strict government regulation necessary？
John Mercurio：A relatively nascent market such as cryptocurrency inevitably goes through preliminary pain points as regulators try comprehend and legislate new technology。 Cryptocurrency offers the opportunity for decentralized, borderless transactions that can occur fairly swiftly。 The digital asset market challenges the status quo and is shaking up traditional economic standards。 Of course, traditional regulators are working hard to keep up with this fast-developing industry, but a compromise can and will be found。 Within the cryptocurrency market, as with every financial avenue, there is a potential for illicit activities by bad actors。 Bitfury’s Crystal blockchain analytics platform is doing its part in making cryptocurrency transparent for everyone。
JRJ：Does the digital identity of the blockchain bring difficulties for regulation? What do you think of the regulation in the “blockchain era”?
John Mercurio：The challenges that come with digital identity in the “blockchain era” are still present， but in the same way that effective regulation is being introduced step-by-step， as will effective KYC processes become a part of Crystal analytics. Digital identities as they relate to crypto trade brings new challenges for regulators， but it also shakes up a system that is stuck in traditional methods and needs to advance. Applying the same old compliance standards to the crypto sphere will not work - such a revolutionary industry needs more tailored regulations. It’s a new sector that’s only just unfolding， and Bitfury’s Crystal analytics platform is and will be a part of that changing standard.