According to a recent Reuters article, widespread financial adoption of blockchain technology was thought to be at least 5 to 10 years away. But a recent IBM study shows 15 percent of top global banks intending to roll out full-scale commercial blockchain products in 2017. Fireside chats and panelist sessions at Money20/20 hinted at this direction. Experts, financial institutions and tech consortia, shared how they are collaborating to shape the future of blockchain.
Hype versus reality
A key conversation point at the conference was on where the technology is in the “hype cycle.” While panelists shared that the landscape still requires standard setting and agreement on models and protocols, several companies shared real world use cases of collaborations moving to production in 2017. A variety of companies showcased their Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger powered applications built to address financial market requirements at Money20/20.
A full house as Christian Barrera shares how IBM Blockchain and Hyperledger collaborate at Money20/20
During his Blockchain Explained presentation, Ferris discussed some of the offerings available that could save businesses time, reduce costs, and reduce risk. He clarified that the technology extends beyond bitcoin and shared the point of view of IBM on this technology and it’s usefulness across industries, combined with cognitive capabilities:
The technology must be built in the open to encourage innovation
It must be made ready for enterprise applications with a focus on privacy, confidentiality, auditability, performance and scalability
It must be permissioned to ensure greater trust across members, while enabling more optimized forms of consensus
Panelist moderators and audiences often asked who would be the “winners and losers” in the blockchain space. Almost all respondents said, it was too early to tell, but they encouraged openness and competition to increase innovation.
IBM Vice President of Blockchain Technologies Jerry Cuomo expressed that proactive public sector involvement could ensure open solutions are developed to support transparency, accuracy, and efficiency across business networks. Focusing on the importance of balancing regulation with innovation, he articulated four avenues of engagement for governments to support this movement:
Become an early adopter of blockchain technologies
Invest in research in the public sector and private sector
Adopt a pro-growth, pro-innovation approach to regulation
One thing that was clear at Money 20/20 was that blockchain is not only a technology, but a principle that captures hearts and minds of different philosophical leanings. We are in nascent stages and the journey ahead is an exciting one!
What’s stopping blockchain from becoming a more pervasive technology in financial services? If you think it has something to do with the technology behind blockchain, you’re partially wrong — it’s the nature of the solution that is causing the barrier. For a blockchain-based solution to work successfully, it requires multiple entities to come together in […]
As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, I have spent the last two and a half years working on blockchain with our U.S. banking and insurance clients. More recently, I have been the IBM technical executive overseeing open Insurance Data Link (openIDL), the insurance network partnership with the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS). It’s been very […]
Blockchain technology is, almost without argument, the topic of the year and is even more high profile for the accounting and financial services industries. Almost without exception, major conferences, journals, media publications and most conversations, are impacted by this technology. Even with all of the excitement, investment and analysis, however, most of the conversations have […]