Banking and blockchain

Written by Mark Evans

Forrester has released research that considers the risk and value of blockchain within the banking industry, and the attitudes of banking executives top its adoption.

Although blockchain-based solutions remain highly immature, and the technology itself is nascent, many bank executives show enthusiasm for the concept; however Forrester warns that this is leading to inflated expectations and high investments that may not create sufficient value.

The key messages that the report gives are that blockchain has not yet reached a critical mass, and until that is achieved the risk is considerable – furthermore many existing blockchain projects and larger initiatives need to reach critical mass, but only a few are set up for success.

Naturally the report finds a division in belief of the future of blockchain, with some senior decision makers continuing to hold a strong belief that blockchain technologies will revolutionize how the world is doing business. But this sentiment describes both the promise and the dilemma of blockchain-type solutions. starting in 2014, banks and vendors alike identified plenty of use cases such as post-trade processing, payments, settlements and trade finance for blockchain-type solutions — these are often called distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions, in recognition that they’re not pure blockchains. But while the enthusiasm drove initial interest, in 2016, very few banks used blockchain technologies for anything other than pilot projects