May 29, 2018

Security Expert Frank Abagnale: 'You'll See Banks All Move to Blockchain'

Frank Abagnale, the once-notorious confidence trickster portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can, said blockchain is the future of secure information processing and data settlement.

A video has surfaced from Abagnale's speech at a blockchain conference in April in which he shares his thoughts on the burgeoning technology.

"I think you have to be pretty ignorant not to realize that blockchain is the way of the future," he said at the Blockchain Nation Miami conference. "It is the best way to secure information, to secure it 100%."

For more than 40 years, Abagnale has worked with and advised hundreds of financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies. In his opinion, these institutions will begin embracing the technology. Blockchain is often defined as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way." Communication occurs between peers instead of through a central authority, and every transaction is visible to anyone with access to the system.

"I think you'll see banks—especially accounting practices and accounting firms—all move to blockchain," he said about keeping records on the decentralized network technology. "You cannot break the blockchain. You cannot hack into the blockchain. You can't change anything on the blockchain."

He outlines some privacy issues that need to be worked out when using the technology, but Abagnale said it is a technology that will "eventually be adopted by all types of governments, businesses, and corporations."

Abagnale is alluding to a trend that is already in motion.

HSBC recently said it performed the world's first trade finance transaction using blockchain technology. Santander last month launched a foreign exchange service that uses the distributed ledger tech to make same-day international money transfers. J.P. Morgan recently applied for a patent to facilitate payments between banks using the blockchain.