Dr Chowdhry: As an academic, we have a privilege that we get sabbaticals every now and then, so I spent a year in 2004, when I was in sabbatical, and that's when I wanted to learn about Bitcoin and I wanted to learn about cryptography

That's when I started learning about it, reading about it, and as I read more and learnt more about it, I got very excited Blockchain is important because it allows you to create a record of history that cannot be changed It allows you to create a record that is not controlled by any central authority I think those two features make it an incredible combination I offered a class at UCLA Anderson in the last spring for the first time

It was very popular This year I'm teaching another class again, and it was absolutely full I had to turn many students away, because there wasn't enough room in the class Right now, we offer one section, but I'm anticipating that in the future we will be able to offer more sections of the same class I think Blockchain is going to change the way we look at many different industries

It's going to certainly change the way we think about finance, we think about banking It's going to change the way we think about law, the way we think about contracts It is also going to change the way we think about humanities, arts It's going to change the way government services are provided, so I think this is a revolution that is just beginning, and in 10 years, the world is going look very different Everywhere I go, or when I travel, everywhere I go, the governments and the private sectors, they are getting involved in Blockchain, and they want to learn more about it

I give talks everywhere, governments have invited me talk about it, so yes, the phenomenon is not limited to the US or Europe, it's everywhere One big takeaway is that people need to understand that Blockchain is just not about cryptocurrency It started as a Bitcoin protocol, that gave us the technology, but its implications go far beyond money or money transfer It allows us to create records of anything beyond currency, or contracts, the way we write a birth certificate or death certificate, or land records, even the way we write contracts with each other It has a much wider applicability, even though people seem to be more excited about Bitcoin because of all the news it gets and all the volatility that's going on with cryptocurrencies

Certainly, there's going to be an increased use, just like other things This is a tool, this is a technique, and just like what happened with internet 20 years ago, similar thing is likely to happen with what Blockchain allows us to do So yes, we are going to see more courses, we are going to see more applications, and as people learn more about it, we won't see it as a crypto thing, we will see it as a new way of doing business, a new way of writing contracts, new way of creating institutions that create trust without using some central authority In 2009, I and a few colleagues of mine, thought about this idea of how we can include people who are financially and socially excluded from transactions, from formal systems The idea was that we start at birth, so there were three pillars to financial access at birth

A, we create an identity which is an electronic identity B, for every child that is born, we endow them with a $100 deposit, so you are starting with an asset right at the beginning C, we are going to make sure that this identity and the bank account are one and the same thing, it's electronic, so that we don't need to worry about paper, we don't need to worry about the legacy systems which take a long time for us to establish What that tried to do was, it tried to create two or three things at the same time We wanted to give a financial identity and a social identity, but we also wanted to create incentives, so that people would actually opt into it

$100 was seen as a mechanism for creating an incentive, so that people who otherwise don't want to deal with formal systems would want to be part of it At the same time, since we have $100 and we have millions of children who are going to have these accounts, we would create incentives even for financial institutions to come in and provide those services In some sense, it combined the power of technology and scale together, to bring this revolution about