How blockchain is being used by financial services and banks

Banks are increasingly experimenting with blockchain technology to increase speed, security and efficiency

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Cryptocurrency was invented with the aim of bypassing banks and central regulatory bodies, however, the underlying technology, blockchain, has increasingly become a field of fascination for banks the world over. In fact, the financial services industry spent an estimated $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) on blockchain or distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in 2017.

Industry experts foresee a range of areas in the banking industry that would be suited for blockchain technology such as proof of identity, trade finance, payments, clearing and settlement and syndicated loans.

While most projects haven't progressed beyond the 'experimentation' phase, there are a growing number of high-profile initiatives gaining attention. Here, we list the most notable and discuss the potential they have to permanently upend the current way of banking.