Boards ‘have bought into blockchain’

A survey of over 200 senior executives in the financial services business and IT decision makers across the US, UK and Europe suggests that most have bought into the concept of blockchain.

The survey, commissioned by business consulting and technology services group Synechron and conducted by researcher TABB Group, found 89% of those questioned believe the technology will be in everyday use in the financial services industry by 2026.

According to Synechron, the survey suggests that “despite various levels of action on blockchain initiatives, most financial services organisations believe in the long-term, innovative potential of blockchain and are merely calculating how to take action factoring in business unit, use case and resources to achieve maximum business value.”

Among the results, 94% of respondents believe boards have bought into developing blockchain projects and nearly 87% believe they have enough budget to implement blockchain projects.

However, one of the biggest challenges for companies implementing blockchain today is a lack of human resource: 70% of the senior-level, global financial services business and IT decision-makers across the US, UK and Europe who participated in do not believe their organisations currently have enough talent capable of implementing blockchain technology.

Despite these challenges, 67.4% of companies surveyed are actively engaging in blockchain initiatives, 13% of the senior executives said they are assembling a blockchain team, and 16.7% have identified a use case for the technology – with respondents citing global payments, trade finance, and meeting know-your-customer (KYC) requirements as the most popular use cases they are looking to operationalise using blockchain.

Furthermore, 15% of respondents said they have already built a pilot blockchain application, either on their own or with a counterparty, and 22.7% are participating in a working group on the technology.

On the topic of regulation, nearly 25% said they were waiting for regulatory guidance on blockchain before acting; however, following recent regulatory guidance in the US from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), that may begin to change.

Despite regulation serving as a barrier to action only 16.7% of firms cited regulatory guidance as an issue they’re most interested in seeing solved related to blockchain. Ranking above this was seeing technology uncertainties and limitations addressed: 29.3% said their most important issue is interoperability (one blockchain solution being unable to integrate with another using a different underlying infrastructure), followed closely by privacy (20.9%) and scalability (20.5%).

“It is clear that many financial services firms are either seriously considering how to utilise blockchain within their organisation or are already putting this technology into practice,” said Faisal Husain, chief executive officer (CEO) at Synechron.

“However, with any new technology there are challenges to be overcome. Our survey shows that recruiting the right people is one such challenge, regulation is another, and technical considerations related to the technology itself another. Companies will need to assess carefully how they approach each individually, and this will require knowledge across these areas to make the most strategic decision on how to proceed and to take action.”




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