Cryptography started as a means to secure communication across time and distance. Scrambling letters using a pattern or according to a predetermined value (for instance A becomes C, B becomes D, C becomes E and so on) prevented messengers or other parties delivering the message from being able to decipher the content. Securing communications against unintended recipients has been an ongoing ambition since humans first started communicating.
In today’s always connected, information-based world, securing communication has evolved to a fundamental truth: data is the new gold (i.e. value) and cryptography is the new Fort Knox (i.e. secure infrastructure). Creating and distributing value is the engine of the global economy and cryptography has evolved to keep pace with this electronic-based economic model. When you can be 100% assured that information has not been altered, that an entity is what it says it is, that a contract will execute when information is valid, that it can be verifiable that an entity has control over what they represent to have (assets, contracts or authority), you can build an absolute trusted chain of events that builds on top of each other without the need for trusted or semi-trusted third-party intermediaries.
As the sixth largest financial center in the world, and a leading jurisdiction for financial services, the Cayman Islands cannot ignore the evolution that is occurring right before our eyes. The development and adoption process of new technologies may seem slow and gradual, but the transformation occurs overnight. The jurisdiction must understand the transformative potential of the new application of cryptography, have an open mindset, and be at the forefront of its implementation.
To learn more about how public key cryptography is changing the way we do business and how it unlocks the next generation financial services, please find the full article in the Cayman Islands Journal May 2019.