The impending use of blockchain in financial services

Blockchain is on the verge of revolutionising the financial services industry. Allowing for more fast and secure payments and transactions.

Bitcoin exemplified this and the technology has been on the scene for a number of years. It seems that banks and financial institutions are starting to take note and based on this recent survey, are willing to integrate the technology with open arms.

89% of senior executives questioned in a survey conducted by TABB Group believe blockchain will be in everyday use in the financial services industry by 2026.

>See also: How blockchain technology will revolutionise finance in emerging markets

The results suggest that despite various levels of action on blockchain initiatives, the majority of financial services organisations believe in the long-term, innovative potential of blockchain and are merely calculating how to take action factoring in business unit, use case and resources to achieve maximum business value.

According to the survey, 94% of respondents believe boards have bought into developing blockchain projects and nearly 87% believe they have enough budget to implement blockchain projects.

However, one of the biggest challenges for companies implementing blockchain today is a lack of human resource with 70% of the senior-level, global financial services business and IT decision-makers across the U.S. U.K. and Europe stating they do not believe their organisations currently have enough talent capable of implementing blockchain technology.

Despite these challenges, the survey does show, however, that over two-thirds (67.4%) of companies are actively engaging in blockchain initiatives, while 13% of the senior executives said they are assembling a blockchain team.

>See also: How blockchain will defend the Internet of Things

Nearly one in five (16.7%) have identified a use case for the technology – with respondents citing global payments, trade finance, and KYC as the most popular use cases they are looking to operationalise using blockchain.

Furthermore, 15% of respondents said they have already built a pilot blockchain application, either on their own or with a counterparty, and nearly a quarter (22.7%) are currently participating in a working group on the technology.

On the topic of regulation, interestingly, almost 25% said they were waiting for regulatory guidance on blockchain before taking action; however, perhaps, following recent regulatory guidance from FINRA, that may begin to change.

Despite regulation serving as a barrier to action, only 16.7% of firms citing regulatory guidance as an issue they’re most interested in seeing solved related to blockchain.

Instead, they’re more interested in seeing technology uncertainties and limitations addressed.

>See also: Beyond bitcoin: the legacy of blockchain

Mainly, 29.3% said their most important issue is interoperability (one blockchain solution being unable to integrate with another using a different underlying infrastructure), followed closely by privacy (20.9%) and scalability (20.5%).

Faisal Husain, CEO at Synechron, commented: “It is clear that many financial services firms are either seriously considering how to utilise blockchain within their organisation or are already putting this technology into practice.”

“However, with any new technology there are challenges to be overcome. Our survey shows that recruiting the right people is one such challenge, regulation is another, and technical considerations related to the technology itself another.”

“Companies will need to assess carefully how they approach each individually, and this will require knowledge across these areas to make the most strategic decision on how to proceed and to take action.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...