If you're a financial advisor, chances are you're not using blockchain technology and not even sure how to define it.
But you could be missing one of the biggest developments poised to disrupt the entire financial services industry, according to some financial experts.
Blockchain technology was developed to serve as the backbone for the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
But the blockchain is rapidly gaining popularity as people realize its value as a mechanism for executing transactions without the oversight of a third party or central bank, said Magdalena Ramada, senior economist at Willis Towers Watson, in a presentation at the Technology Tools for Today Advisor Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The blockchain is defined as a digital distributed ledger, or registry of information, according to Ramada. The information in the ledger has to be confirmed and accepted in order to enter the blockchain, much like the pages of a book. Once the information is there, it is incorruptible and unchangeable, Ramada said.
"Blockchain is a sociological innovation," Ramada said. "It is a piece of technology, but it enables us to transfer and transact value on the internet and to organize networks in a way that we were not able to before."
As a result, experts predict blockchain technology will have a profound impact on the financial services industry, which focuses on transferring assets and value in a safe and secure way.