Shake the Trees: 4 Ways to Take Your Tech Talent Search Beyond the Job Board

If you’re not hearing from the type of candidates you were hoping for in your technical talent search, it may be time to cast a wider net. As the battle for technical talent continues to heat up, it’s no longer enough to just post an ad to an online job board, share it on LinkedIn and cross your fingers. Here are some additional channels to consider incorporating into your recruitment strategy.

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based team messaging and collaboration app that was initially developed as an alternative to email to help companies communicate more efficiently. It’s been so well received that there are now Slack public communities that have been created to allow people with common interests to communicate. Third party websites like slack list, Standuply and Slofile compile lists of public Slack communities to help people looking to connect with others with similar interests. These communities can be a great way to make connections with technical talent. The Ruby on Rails community, for example, has over 6000 people interested in Ruby on Rails from all over the world, including avid OSS contributors, full-stack engineers, founders of start-ups, backend engineers and students learning Ruby on Rails. Within each community, various topics are organized into subject-based channels.

Top Tip: Watch your manners. When you join a Slack community, take some time to get to know the culture of the community before you start to post and tailor what you write accordingly. When you have a good feel for the community, ensure you are posting on the most appropriate channel.

Meetup

Meetup is a social networking site that connects people with similar interests and helps them organize offline group meetings. As Meetups happen in physical locations, it is very easy to search by location if you are looking for talent in a specific city. There is a great collection of technical groups. By searching Ruby On Rails, for example, within 100 miles of Toronto, you’ll find Meetup groups of Ruby developers and enthusiasts in Toronto, Kitchener and Waterloo. In addition to being able to see upcoming events, such as a Rail Pub Night, you can also search profiles of people within each group.

Top Tip: Be open and honest about who you are. As this is very much a social platform, members may not be expecting to interact with recruiters or potential employers. Review Meetup’s Usage and Content Policies as a first step before you begin to join groups.

Engage Employees as Evangelists

Employee referral programs are one of the most effective and efficient methods of recruiting technical talent. In addition to coming with a built-in reference, research shows that candidates who have been referred by employees tend to stay longer and be more productive. Equip your employees with the tools they need to communicate within their networks about open positions at your company.

Top Tip: Even if your organization doesn’t have an incentivized referral program in place, look for simple things you can do to engage more employees in your company’s recruitment efforts.

  • Ensure new job postings are shared internally with employees in a way that makes it easy for them to pass on the posting to people in their networks.
  • When employees speak at conferences or trade shows, include a slide at the end of their presentation with a call to action to those in audience to speak to them about employment opportunities with your company.

Connect with Passive Candidates

Your technical talent search shouldn’t be limited to only people who are currently looking for work. Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in technical positions gives your company access to a deeper network of talent that includes experienced candidates who may not even be looking at job postings.  Getting a call from a recruiter they respect about a new opportunity can often make candidates realize it might be time for them to consider making a change.

Financial Technology

Understanding the Impact of Blockchain

Blockchain is poised to have an enormous impact on how data is recorded and shared across the internet. In short, blockchain is a distributed database, like one giant spreadsheet shared by a massive series of computers the world over. 

The important difference from databases now is that this technology is not a centralized system controlled by one organization. Rather, any information is stored as incorruptible blocks that are accessible from any node on the network, chained together with a peer-to-peer system that’s safeguarded by automated cryptographic methods. The data shared is continuously recorded in an unalterable form, allowing for transparency. 

This allows for a secure, effective way to share data from person to person without relying on third parties for verification or distribution. When adopted, this technology will have major impacts on existing systems.

It Starts with Transactions…

The most obvious effect will be on digital financial transactions. Blockchain will provide secure connections capable of transferring important, verified data, such as currency. There will be no need for centralized authorities, like banks, to validate transactions. Individuals will be able to transfer funds securely from one person to another. This can transform the way the sharing economy works, having great stakes on companies like Uber and AirBnB, which act as third-party services to connect individuals. 

But data is data, and currency is only the start. Blockchain could potentially solve logistics and fulfilment problems. Records, legal documents, and virtually any other information that can be coded into 1s and 0s can be transferred using this technology. This could affect the way governmental records are stored and used, and perhaps one day, even the way we vote.

A Faster Kind of Cloud

Decentralizing file storage into the blockchain system has many benefits. The first is that the data becomes protected from files getting hacked or lost. There’s also the potential that completely decentralized information can make websites faster. It can also speed up file transfer and streaming times, which will be advantageous to streaming services like Netflix and iTunes.

IP Protection and ID Management

Digital information—including mp3s, video files, and jpegs—is infinitely reproducible, which means it’s infinitely distributable as well. While users are finding a golden era of content, copyright holders are struggling to maintain control of their intellectual property. Blockchain can offer smart contracts that can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative work. 

At the same time, this technology can better manage identities across the internet. The embedded cryptology nature of the technology means you can securely identify yourself and others. Developing digital identity standards is complex and by no means solved. But in the future, instead of having your personal data stored with large companies like Facebook or Google that can turn around and sell your data, you’ll be able to manage your information directly.

Governance and Transparency

A key element of blockchains is that all changes or additions to a block are kept indefinitely, and they’re always publicly accessible. Algorithms are deployed to ensure all this information is stored chronologically, permanently, and available to all users. This full transparency will have many positive effects towards governance of digital assets, equity, and information. Time will tell how people and organizations react to a higher level of transparency. 

These are just some of the impacts blockchain can and may have on existing systems. Blockchain is capable of making a world where all data is embedded in code and stored in shared, transparent databases that are protected from deletion, tampering, hacking, and revision. 

The technology is in its infancy now, but as more and more startups and big businesses consider the possibilities, you too should be prepared to work, create, and build within a distributed database.

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Understanding Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Bitcoin

New technologies are being developed all the time, and it can be hard to keep up.

In the past few years, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin have been getting more attention. You’ve probably heard of them before, but you may not know what they are or how they work.

As a CIO, you also have to think about how new technologies could be used at your company and how they could fit into your budget. Staying on top of new technologies helps you prepare to hire the IT professionals required to implement them.

Here’s what you need to know about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a shared digital ledger that can be used to record transactions. Every record in the ledger is known as a block, and each block is linked to the next. Blocks can’t be erased, and the chain can only be updated with consensus from the participants in the ledger. Since it’s a peer-to-peer network, there’s no need for an administrator to manage the database.

This new technology has exciting implications for businesses.

Since blockchain records can’t be modified, this technology is ideal for recordkeeping purposes. It’s also ideal for auditing purposes. Companies in the financial services and healthcare industries have been exploring using blockchain technology. In financial services, blockchain can be used to transfer money without paying fees to a middleman, among its other uses. In healthcare, blockchain can be used to securely store and transfer sensitive patient records.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are digital, alternative currencies. They’re not issued by authorities like central banks. Instead, they’re decentralized. They’re peer-to-peer currencies, so people can electronically send payments to each other without involving a middleman. Cryptocurrencies use cryptography as their main security feature. Cryptography means the information is encrypted.

Cryptocurrencies are recognized at an international level. That means people in different countries can send money to each other without worrying about exchange rates. For companies who do business internationally, this could be an attractive alternative to traditional money transfers.

Transactions made with cryptocurrency are anonymous, unlike other digital payment methods. The anonymity has benefits for businesses and customers. When customers pay with cryptocurrency, merchants don’t get access to their whole credit line. Merchants are only sent the cryptocurrency. This could help reduce identity theft, which is good for everyone.

In total, there are over 700 types of cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies range from very well-known to obscure. There are so many cryptocurrencies because anyone can make one. If someone thinks they can improve on existing cryptocurrencies, nothing is stopping them from trying.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency. It’s the most well-known type of cryptocurrency, and that means it’s the de facto standard. It leads other cryptocurrencies in the size of its user base and its popularity. Other cryptocurrencies are gaining in popularity, but they still haven’t reached the level of Bitcoin.

People can use bitcoins to send money directly to each other, but they can also use them to pay businesses. Many companies are now accepting bitcoins. Even large companies like Microsoft and Overstock.com are accepting payments through Bitcoin. Small businesses are also starting to accept these payments.

For businesses, there are advantages to accepting Bitcoin payments. When you get paid through credit cards, you have to pay merchant fees to the credit card companies. These fees can be as high as three percent, which means the charges add up quickly. Accepting payments through services like PayPal also subject your company to merchant fees. Using Bitcoin allows you to bypass the middleman and cut out the merchant fees. This means you can make more money and also pass some savings on to your customers. It could also help you attract customers who like paying with Bitcoin, rather than with traditional payment methods.

Hire a Recruiter

Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin are set to disrupt many industries. Work with a recruiter to hire the tech experts you need to prepare for these changes and stay ahead of the curve.

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What is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is getting a lot of attention these days. You’ve probably read an article in a newspaper about this technology or heard people at work talking about it. If you aren’t quite sure what the technology is, don’t worry. The technology is complicated and fairly new, so there’s no shame in not knowing much about it.

As a CIO, you don’t need to be an expert in this technology, but you should understand the basics. This can help your company take advantage of it. You can hire IT professionals who have a strong understanding of the technology and can help your company innovate.

Read on to learn what this technology is and how it works.

What It Is

This new technology was first described back in 2008. A person or group of people calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper that launched Bitcoin, now a popular cryptocurrency. This whitepaper descripted blockchain, the new technology that made Bitcoin work. The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto still hasn’t been revealed, which adds a compelling mystery to this technology.

Blockchain is a decentralized, digital ledger. Different people can add records to the ledger since it’s decentralized. Once a record has been added, it can’t be changed or tampered with. This means the ledger provides a complete, trustworthy record of all prior transactions.

How It Works

Now that you know what this technology is, it’s time to find out more about how it works. A global network of computers manages the database that records transactions. Millions of computers around the world host the data. Since the database is decentralized, these computers can be owned by anyone.

To create a new record, the information first has to be entered. Think of this like typing data into a cell in a spreadsheet. However, unlike a spreadsheet, one person’s input isn’t enough to make a change. Before the record can be added, multiple nodes in the network need to agree on it. One way this occurs is the proof-of-work method. In this method, users’ computers repeatedly run hashing algorithms to verify the records. When you hear about people mining Bitcoins on their computers, they’re running these hashing algorithms.

Current Uses for This Technology

Right now, a major use for this technology is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. People can use their bitcoins to purchase goods and services anonymously. Many reputable companies, like WordPress.com and Microsoft, let users pay for services with bitcoins.

Other cryptocurrencies use this technology, too. Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are known as altcoins. Popular altcoins include Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Altcoins try to improve on Bitcoin. For example, Litecoin transactions are faster than Bitcoin transactions.

Cryptocurrencies aren’t the only current use for this technology. Startups are using this technology for many exciting purposes in various industries. Abra uses a blockchain-enabled mobile wallet to let users send money to people around the world, with no bank account or credit card. Startups like Tierion have built platforms for healthcare data storage with this technology. Storj is beta-testing a blockchain-enabled cloud service network. Many other startups are using this technology for their products and services, too.

Potential Future Uses for This Technology

Right now, blockchain projects are fairly small in scale. Startups are creating exciting platforms with the technology, but they’re not widely used. Even Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, only has about 10 million global users. That may seem like a lot, but to put that figure into perspective, there are more than 3.5 billion internet users in the world. Blockchain and its related applications have a long way to go before they reach their potential.

In the future, this technology may have major impacts on the banking industry. Since people can send money without fees with this technology, banks could potentially save a lot of money by using it. Banks could also offer faster transactions. They could also keep secure records; fraud is a big concern for banks, so a tamper-proof ledger is understandably very interesting to them. Many large banks are testing this technology and looking to see how they can adapt it to meet their needs.

Other industries could be affected too. Goldman Sachs has predicted that the electricity market could be much different in the future thanks to blockchain. Right now, central power providers send electricity to homes and businesses. In the future, a distributed network could be created with this technology. People could generate their own electricity and sell it through the network.

Blockchain could also be used to build trust online. People’s identities could be securely stored with the technology, and their identities could be linked to various sites online. This could help prevent people from causing trouble online and then creating new accounts to try to hide their reputation. For companies like Airbnb, this future application could be very useful. Guests wouldn’t need to worry as much about safety, and hosts wouldn’t need to worry as much about bad guests who cause damage.

Obstacles to Adoption

While blockchain is an innovative technology with a lot of potential, there are also obstacles holding back adoption. Since the technology is still fairly new, challenges like data limits still need to be ironed out. The regulatory status of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is also unsettled. National governments regulate traditional currencies, but no one regulates blockchain or cryptocurrencies. Some business owners may not want to start using this technology until they’re sure of its legal status.

Cultural adoption is another obstacle. Right now, users and operators are used to centralized systems, like the ones traditional banks have. Eighty-seven percent of Canadians say banks are stable and secure, and 80 percent trust banks to keep their personal information safe. Since most people are satisfied, they may not want to take a chance on a new technology they don’t know much about. Blockchain enthusiasts will need to sell the benefits of the technology to the general population and to businesses.

Another obstacle is that companies already have systems that work. The systems may not be perfect, but they’re getting the job done. To start using new technology, these companies could need to make significant changes to their current systems. They could even need to completely replace their current systems to make them compatible with blockchain. Risk-averse companies may not want to do this anytime soon. Even innovative companies will need to strategize about making the transition, which can’t happen overnight.

Energy use is another obstacle with this technology. Storing and verifying the records takes up a lot of computer resources. When computers around the world are all processing transactions, the electricity demands add up quickly. In June 2015, a single Bitcoin transaction used enough electricity to power 1.57 American households for a day. That was bad enough, but the electricity demands have gotten worse. Now, one transaction uses enough energy to power 3.67 American households for a day.

As more people start using Bitcoin and other blockchain-enabled technologies, even more electricity will be needed. Engineers will need to figure out ways to make these technologies use less electricity. You’ll need to hire talented employees now to tackle this problem.

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Blockchain & Banking: Just the Beginning

Blockchain is a technology that keeps records of transactions. The records, called blocks, are linked together in a chain. Once a record is created, it can’t be tampered with, so users can trust the data is accurate. This technology is very exciting for the banking industry.

With this technology, banks can speed up their back-office functions and reduce their costs. Startups in the financial services industry can also use the technology, which means the industry could potentially be disrupted.

If you don’t work in banking, you may think this technology is irrelevant to you. Not so fast. This technology has wide-ranging applications and could affect many industries. CIOs in many sectors need to be aware of how this technology could affect their companies. By hiring top IT professionals, they can take advantage of this new technology.

Here are some other major industries that could be affected by blockchain technology.

Online Music

Streaming music is popular with consumers, but it’s hard for artists to make money this way. They make less money from streaming services than they do from selling CDs or other physical music formats.

Blockchain initiatives could help artists make more money, while letting consumers keep streaming music. Artists could bypass streaming companies and use blockchain to send music to their fans. Smart contracts could also be created. These contracts would pay money to artists every time their songs are streamed or downloaded.

Healthcare

Doctors and hospitals use electronic health records to track patient data but often can’t share the records with each other. When patients go to new doctors or clinics, their records don’t follow them. This could lead to patients not getting the right care.

In the future, blockchain technology could solve this problem. Doctors and hospitals could add patients’ records to one shared ledger, and those records would be viewable to other medical professionals.

This could provide secure access to patients’ entire healthcare records. Researchers at MIT are testing a pilot, called MedRec, that could be widely deployed in the future.

Supply Chain Management

Between manufacture and sale, products change hands many times. The average international shipment is estimated to change hands 25 or more times. Keeping track of the transfers can be challenging, especially since various carriers don’t always have access to the same technology. Products can get lost or delayed, which drives up costs.

Blockchain technology may be able to solve these problems. That’s because this technology provides a permanent, decentralized record of transactions. Shipments can be securely tracked with technology, and suppliers throughout the supply chain will be able to track products.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage companies store customers’ data on centralized servers. While these companies take precautions to protect customers’ data, the data could be at risk since it’s all in one place.

If hackers are interested in the data, they know where to target.

Since blockchain is decentralized, it could provide an answer to this security problem. Customers’ data could be stored in a secure, decentralized manner. Decentralized storage could also be less expensive for users—great news for CIOs on a budget—since expensive data centres don’t need to be maintained. Companies like Resilio, Tresorit, and Storj offer peer-to-peer cloud storage platforms.

Retail

Traditionally, people who wanted to sell products online needed to go through a middleman. Popular sites like eBay and Amazon connect sellers with buyers, but they also take a cut of the fees.

In the future, buyers and sellers may be able to bypass these traditional online marketplaces. They may be able to use decentralized networks to trade with each other directly, and they won’t need to pay mandatory fees. OpenBazaar is an example of a startup providing peer-to-peer trading services online.

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The Rise of Blockchain Technology: How Your Business Can Adapt

The rise of blockchain technology is coming. How quickly the tech becomes ubiquitous, and who will embrace it, still remains to be seen. But big companies in the tech sector  (e.g. Microsoft) and in financial industries are spending R&D dollars on discovering just what this distributed ledger can do. 

Blockchain is a tracking database that was originally developed to run Bitcoin. The database uses algorithms to record digital transactions reliably with an impressive amount of anonymity. “Blocks” of data are created and sent across a peer-to-peer network without the need for a central authority or third party to verify or confirm the exchange; the system does all that itself through cryptographic methods. 

Though full adoption of this system is still unsure, and a timeline on feasibility is still in the works, being ready to be an early blockchain adopter can, theoretically, put businesses on the frontlines of the new cutting-edge digital culture. 

Here are a few ways your business can adapt to blockchain technology.

What Could Blockchain Do for My Company?

The potential effects of Blockchain technology are numerous, but here are some of the largest. 

Blockchain might streamline transactions by offering a single source of information, always updated, and in near real time. All your records will be digitized and available at a speed faster than what you currently experience. 

The cost of intermediaries will also go down and enable better, immutable ledger records. By adopting what some are calling “smart contracts”—coded sets of rules designed to execute when specific actions occur—automation of many financial services that require timely back-and-forth communication could happen in a fraction of the time.

Pilots and Working Groups

A good place to start the consideration of blockchain technology is by putting together a small working group tasked with designing a path to successfully using the tech in a way that aligns with your company’s overarching goals.

Start with a Hypothesis

Once this talented group is formed, develop a working hypothesis on how a distributed ledger can not only support, but improve, several aspects of your business. 

Focus the working group to select a couple of these hypotheses and transform them into working pilots. From there, it’s a matter of learning as you go. If it’s going to work, you should see ROI based on your hypothesis.

Scalable Efforts

One of two things will happen: you see ROI or you don’t. If you don’t, then it’s likely time to reconsider blockchains for your company, at least for now. If you do see good ROI, then it’s time for you to consider a strategy for the new technology. 

Develop a long-term plan that could be integrated deeper into your business strategy. Consider the successes you found with the pilot, but also any new awareness you may have gleaned from working on the pilot. 

You’ll then have to decide whether the risk is worth scaling now or whether you should wait to see how distributed ledgers come into play across your industry. You may also decide to never scale, depending on the results and where the technology goes. Either way, you haven’t committed the core of your business to this new technology, nor are you unprepared if it takes off overnight. 

Blockchain technology is still very new and largely untested. Many companies and startups are exploring the possibilities of distributed ledgers, but its future is still unsure. Exploring the possibilities early in smaller, controlled ways may give you a head start on your competition as you hurtle into the future of the digital age.

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9 Big Industries Blockchain Tech Will Disrupt

When new technologies are developed, they provide new opportunities to innovative companies and disrupt whole industries.

There are many examples of this throughout history, and as a CIO, you’ve probably experienced disruptive technologies firsthand. The internet, the mobile web, and cloud computing are some of the very disruptive technologies your company and others needed to adapt to. Companies and industries as a whole were forever changed or made obsolete by the advances.

Technology is still moving forward, and CIOs will need to deal with many more disruptive technologies in their careers. They’ll need to hire talented IT professionals to help them adapt to the changes. One disruptive technology that’s getting a lot of attention right now is blockchain.

Blockchain is a digital ledger that’s used to record transactions. The ledger is stored on a network of personal computers. The records, called blocks, are time-stamped and linked to the previous blocks. This forms an unchangeable record. Once new data is entered, it can never be erased. This is the technology behind Bitcoin, a well-known cryptocurrency.

While your company may not be interested in using Bitcoin any time soon, the technology behind it may still affect you. This technology has many possible uses for businesses. It’s projected to disrupt many industries, just like the other technologies that came before it.

Here are nine big industries blockchain technology will disrupt in the future.

1. The Banking Industry

Banks securely store money for their customers and handle money transfers. For these services, they charge high fees. On top of monthly service fees, customers could need to pay fees for things like making payments on their credit cards. These fees aren’t optimal for customers.

Blockchain’s secure system could solve several problems for banks. The indisputable, permanent record of transactions could lower risks for banks. Customers will be able to see the status of their payments at any time. Money could also be transferred both cheaper and faster.

Banks that take advantage of this technology could provide better services to their customers at lower prices.

2. The Money Transfer Industry

Many companies allow people to transfer money to each other, both domestically and internationally. They make their money by collecting a fee every time someone sends a money transfer. As the middleman, they’re vulnerable to disruption by blockchain technology.

Some FinTech companies are taking advantage of this technology. They offer money transfers for lower fees than traditional providers charge. Traditional money transfer companies will need to be adapt or they’ll be left behind.

The FinTech startups could be left behind, too. With blockchain, people can send money to each other directly, without paying any fees. Since the technology is new, this isn’t widely used but should be a concern for any company in the money transfer industry.

3. The Stock Trading Industry

The stock trading industry profits from commissions and fees. When people buy or sell stocks, they need to pay a broker or middleman. Companies have worked to make the process of buying and selling stocks easier, but there are still more improvements that could be made.

These improvements could be made with the help of blockchain technology. With this technology, trades can be made accurately and inexpensively. While traditional trades can take up to three days to be settled, blockchain trades can be settled instantly. The trades can also eliminate middlemen. Overstock.com was the first publicly traded company to start issuing its stock through this new technology. In the long term, more companies may follow its lead.

4. The Online Music Industry

There are many criticisms of the online music industry in its current form. Streaming services don’t pay artists much per stream, and the streaming service and record label also get a cut of the profits. Some artists even go as far as removing their songs from streaming services.

Blockchain technology has the potential to shake up this industry. With this technology, artists may be able to offer their songs directly to their listeners. This will let them bypass the streaming services entirely. Artists may also decide to offer songs through the new technology instead of going through a record label. This could be worrying for streaming services and record labels alike.

5. The Real Estate Industry

Right now, there’s a lot of paperwork involved with real estate transactions. Errors in this paperwork could slip into public records, and fraud is another potential complication. These issues keep real estate agents, financial institutions, and mortgage companies busy.

With blockchain technology, real estate data like liens and land titles can be stored safely and permanently. Documents will be secured, with less work and less expense.

Blockchain could also eliminate escrow companies. With this technology, smart contracts could be created that would only release funds when contract conditions are met. That’s what escrow companies do now, so this new technology could be quite disruptive for them.

6. The Healthcare Industry

For patients to get good care, their medical records need to follow them from one doctor to another. When patients see several doctors, it’s easy for records to get lost or not be transferred between doctors. This causes continuity-of-care issues, and patients could receive poor care. They could be misdiagnosed or receive treatments that aren’t effective due to their incomplete records.

This problem could be solved with blockchain technology. It’s an excellent platform for data storage, and it can be used to hold patients’ medical records. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare institutions could all see patients’ complete medical records. Some startups are working to make this a reality.

7. The Legal Industry

Some types of litigation could be impacted by blockchain technology. Wills are a good example. Currently, family members may doubt the genuineness of a will and turn to litigation to resolve a deceased loved one’s estate. Lawyers need to determine if the will and other documents relating to the estate are genuine.

Blockchain can make this process much easier. Since the records can’t be altered, information relating to wills can be securely stored. No one will have any doubt the will is genuine or that it’s the most recent version of the document. Lawyers who specialize in wills and similar disputes could find themselves out of the job.

8. The Ride Sharing Industry

Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft disrupted the taxi industry. However, that doesn’t make them immune to disruptions of their own. To use ride sharing companies, customers need to go through a centralized network—an app—to find drivers. The ride sharing companies are a middleman between riders and drivers, and take a cut of the fees.

With blockchain, customers could bypass current ride sharing companies. La’Zooz is a ride sharing startup that’s taking advantage of this technology. The startup lets riders find drivers who are already making the trips they’d like to make. The company is decentralized, just like the technology it uses to process payments.

9. The Human Resources Industry

Human resources professionals have to do a lot of time-consuming verification tasks during hiring. They need to verify candidates’ employment histories and perform background checks. Right now, the relevant records could get misplaced or even be falsified.

Blockchain ledgers can make HR’s verification tasks much easier. The ledgers can’t be falsified or tampered with, so it’s a good place to store records. If employment records and criminal records were safely stored in the ledger, HR professionals could quickly verify candidates’ background.

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Don Tapscott

10 Blockchain Industry Thought Leaders to Follow

Blockchain is a digital ledger that accepts input from many users. Posts to the ledger can’t be revised or tampered with, and the ledger is decentralized. This technology has the potential to disrupt many industries, like banking.

Click here to get started with Ian Martin

For CIOs, staying on top of the latest developments in this area is essential. Without a strong knowledge of developments in this new technology, it’s harder for CIOs to hire IT professionals and compete with other companies. To stay up to date on the latest developments, follow these ten industry thought leaders.

1. Don Tapscott

Don Tapscott is one of the leading analysts of the impacts of technology, and he’s written more than 15 books on related subjects. He recently wrote a book, The BlockChain Revolution, about how this technology will change the internet. Tapscott has also spoken at TEDGlobal about this technology.

2. Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen is well-known for founding Netscape, an early web browser. Now, Andreessen is an investor and Bitcoin enthusiast. His venture capitalist firm invests in Bitcoin and related startups. The firm recently raised $1.5 billion to invest in more breakthroughs.

3. Vitalik Buterin

This 23-year-old entrepreneur is famous for being the co-founder of Ethereum, a blockchain-based software platform. This platform is designed to handle financial transactions that can’t be handled by Bitcoin. The platform has the potential to create a decentralized version of the internet, called Internet 3.0.

4. Laura Shin

Laura Shin is a senior editor at Forbes. She manages Forbes’ coverage of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and related technologies, and explains these technologies in clear language. Shin speaks at conferences about these technologies and won the 2016 Blockchain Award for Most Insightful Journalist.

5. Nick Ayton

Nick Ayton is a global blockchain expert. He’s written many whitepapers and articles on the subject and also writes for CoinTelegraph, a publication that covers cryptocurrencies. Ayton is also a speaker and lecturer, and he has been a keynote speaker at various events. His latest project, 21 Million, is a crypto-funded television series about cryptocurrencies.

6. Naval Ravikant

Ravikant is the CEO of AngelList, a website that lets startups raise money from investors. He tweets about blockchain technology and how it can transform the world. Recently, he predicted this technology would replace networks with markets. For interesting predictions about the future of this technology, be sure to follow Ravikant.

7. Roger Ver

Roger Ver is an entrepreneur and angel investor. He’s famous for being an early investor in Bitcoin. Ver believes Bitcoin could rival major fiat currencies and thinks the cryptocurrency could promote economic freedom. He’s one of the five founders of the Bitcoin Foundation and has funded the seed rounds of many Bitcoin startups.

8. Vinny Lingham

Lingham is a major technology entrepreneur from South Africa. He’s been nicknamed the “Bitcoin Oracle” for his predictions of Bitcoin’s value. His latest venture is a business called Civic.com, which is a decentralized identity system that uses blockchain technology to create a digital ID. The end goals are protecting people’s identities and getting rid of usernames and passwords.

9. Jim Marous

Marous is a publisher, FinTech strategist, and keynote speaker. He’s the co-publisher of The Financial Brand, a digital publication for banks and credit unions. Marous also owns the Digital Banking Report, which covers current topics in banking. As a thought leader on disruption in the banking industry, he provides insights in new technologies.

10. Erik Voorhees

Voorhees is the founder and CEO of Shapeshift, a Bitcoin and altcoin exchange. He’s predicted Bitcoin could be replaced as the dominant cryptocurrency if it can’t continue to scale. Voorhees also talks about governance methods for cryptocurrencies.

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