A recent report from the World Economic Forum examines the potential impact that blockchain will have on financial services infrastructure. According to the report, there have been $1.4 billion in investments and 2500 new patents filed over the past three years; in addition, 80% of banks are predicted to initiate projects related to blockchain by 2017. However, the report also identifies several hurdles to large-scale implementation, including: uncertain and disparate regulatory treatment; emerging efforts to standardize; and lack of a formal legal framework.
The six key findings outlined in the report include:
- The potential for blockchain to drive simplicity and efficiency through new infrastructure and processes;
- Blockchain is just one of the technologies that will transform financial services infrastructure;
- Blockchain has a variety of potential applications that will use the technology in different ways for different benefits;
- Digital identify is key to expanding blockchain applications, while digital flats (legal tender) and other technology will amplify benefits;
- Getting the most out of blockchain will require deep collaboration between all parties, including current industry participants, those developing technology, and regulators;
- New financial services infrastructure that relies on blockchain has the potential to significantly change today’s business models.