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Blockchain Gains Favor but May Still Lack In-house Experts; Fidelity Team Seeks Patent on Voting Technology

Distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, continues to find favor in the financial services industry, and according to recent reports is expected to go mainstream in five years. The technology is recognized globally and U.S. regulators are taking notice and anticipating its impact. Recently, the U.S. Patent Office released an application filed by Fidelity that would use blockchain to, among other things, process shareholder votes and authenticate voters. Also, DTCC recently announced its successful completion of trials using blockchain technology to process repurchase agreement transactions. In a recent survey of members of the Post-Trade Distributed Ledger Group reported on by Pensions & Investments, forty-eight percent of executives at banks, financial services firms, traders and government agencies said blockchain technology will be adopted for post-trade use in the next three to five years — and an additional 29% said the technology will be implemented within two years. Othersurveyshave found that more than two-thirds of the executives surveyed said their companies were actively engaging in blockchain initiatives and that corporate boards are supportive of such initiatives. However, according to a research report surveying 200 senior financial services business and IT decision-makers in the UK, Europe and the U.S., a majority of financial services businesses lack blockchain expertise within their organizations. According to the results of that survey, 70% of these business leaders do not believe their firms have enough talent to implement blockchain.