The importance of blockchain technology in this advancing digital world has been recognized by major players in the market and its integration in the financial services system has been initiated. Since the inception of blockchain, its importance in the financial services for trade transaction has been advocated and with the integration of artificial intelligence along with it, the face of financial services is changing rapidly all over the world. For instance, the four largest accounting firms in the world, known as the Big Four, are actively using blockchain technology. KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte are engaging with Bitcoin and blockchain technology in different and unique ways.
Big banks are now turning towards blockchain for their business transactions and in a recent move, in June 2017, seven European banks- Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale, UniCredit, Rabobank, Natixis, and KBC- selected IBM to help them build a new trade finance platform, the Digital Trade Chain (DTC). IBM has been strengthening itself as the best blockchain technology provider of trade finance solutions. The proposed platform will be based on the IBM Blockchain, built on the Hyperledger Fabric, and hosted on the IBM Cloud, to streamline domestic and cross-border trade for European SMBs by providing them with a holistic overview of trade transactions they participate in.1
To further the importance and transformational potential of bockchain technology, two major Australian banks have successfully used blockchain for bank guarantees on commercial property leasing. ANZ and Westpac teamed with IBM and shopping center operator Scentre Group to digitize the guarantee process. The trial used distributed ledger technology to replace paper-based guarantee documents, resulting in a single source of information with reduced potential for fraud and increased efficiency.1
In order to remain competitive in the evolving technological landscape, companies are adopting a bimodal approach wherein they are integrating blockchain functionality along with their current infrastructure and running them in parallel for increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Acknowledging the revolutionizing effect blockchain has, BIS Research has compiled a report titled ‘Blockchain Technology in Financial Services Market - Analysis and Forecast: 2017 to 2026’. According to the analyst at BIS Research, “More than 40 use cases of blockchain in financial services are being explored, including optimizing KYC process, trade finance solutions, asset servicing, claim management in insurance, and post trade solutions in capital markets. Leading financial institutions and banks, including Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays among others, have all the efforts and investments to drive the futuristic technology.”
This report provides a comprehensive market analysis along with the recent trends influencing the markets. The report focuses on the various opportunities and use cases that financial institutions and blockchain technology providers could capitalize on and the cost benefits and value they could derive. The report highlights the key driving and restraining forces for the widespread adoption of the technology, also providing a detailed study of the future trends and developments in the market. It also examines the role of the leading market players involved in the industry.
1 Business Insider