Former master forger turned FBI consultant Frank Abagnale has recently addressed a Blockchain Nation conference in Miami with a prediction that banks will all move to blockchain in the future, as reported by CNN.
Abagnale is probably better known to moviegoers as the main character in the 2012 Steven Spielberg film ‘Catch Me If You Can’, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
The film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. He later became a consultant for the FBI after his release from prison in the US having been extradited from France, where he was eventually captured in Perpignan in 1969.
Abagnale entertained the conference with some of his exploits, including the time he defrauded United Airlines and Hertz, which involved him purchasing a security guard costume, placing a sign at an airport which read, ‘Out of Service, Place Deposits With Security Guard on Duty’, and collecting millions of dollars from the dropped bags.
The ex-forger turned FBI consultant was positive in his predictions about blockchain and its place in the future.
“I think you would have to be pretty ignorant not to realize that blockchain is the way for the future, it is the best way to secure information 100 percent, so I think you will see banks, especially accounting practices and accounting firms, all move to the blockchain, keeping records through blockchain. It will be the best way to do so because you cannot break the blockchain, you cannot hack into the blockchain, you can’t change anything in the blockchain.”
Abagnale’s viewpoint on blockchain and cryptocurrency is significant given his past, where he generated millions of dollars in profit by breaking into the broken financial system and structure of banks, by forging checks, stealing cash, and redirecting funds.
Today, Bitcoin’s security makes the transfer of funds far less susceptible to the kinds of fraud employed by Abagnale at the height of his fraudulent successes. To create more Bitcoin, in the way that he attempted to produce US dollars, is not feasibly possible. Forging Bitcoin would involve running a “51% attack” against the network, which would require controlling just over half of the computing power currently dedicated to securing the Bitcoin network – realistically and financially unfeasible given the massive network of computers all over the world already doing so.
On safety, Abagnale maintains that every financial transaction has risk attached to it, apart from credit cards as the federal law takes on the liability. However, he is convinced that blockchain is the future:
“One would have to be incredibly foolish not to see that [blockchain] is an incredible technology and that will be eventually adopted by all types of governments, businesses, and corporations,” he said.
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