IBM said that banks and other financial institutions are adopting blockchain technology “dramatically faster” than initially expected, with 15 percent of top global banks intending to roll out full-scale, commercial blockchain products in 2017.
More than 65 percent of banks expected to have blockchain projects in production in three years’ time, with larger banks – those with more than 100,000 employees – leading the charge.
IBM asked 200 banks about their plans and were told that the areas most commonly identified by lenders as ripe for blockchain-based innovation were clearing and settlement, wholesale payments, equity and debt issuance and reference data.
Blockchain, which originates from digital currency bitcoin, works as an electronic transaction-processing and record-keeping system that allows all parties to track information through a secure network, with no need for third-party verification. Ironically it was a solution touted by Ecorp in the television series Mr Robot as a way of solving its hacking problems.
Almost every major bank has said it is looking into the technology, widespread financial adoption has been thought to be at least five to ten years away.
“The industry is hurtling toward blockchain adoption far faster than many expected. 2017 looks to be the year banking on blockchains shifts from zero to sixty.”