Blockchain, initially considered as the public ledger for Bitcoin, has found application in several other sectors. Currently, the most notable of them are digital banking, cross-border payments, trade finance, health care and public administration. Below are areas of Blockchain technology likely to be the most popular in 2018.
According to Deloitte, blockchain technology will greatly transform the business model of the insurance industry in 2018. Joe Guastella, the Deloitte Global consulting leader for financial services, says that a combination of blockchain and big data technologies will reduce the uncertainty of the industry’s risk pool system. On his part, Paul Sin, the fintech partner leading the Asia Pacific blockchain lab at Deloitte, blockchain will be used to synchronise product and customer information between banks and insurance companies. The technology will also be used in tracking goods that are covered by insurance companies and detecting duplicated claims.
The banking sector has been very keen on blockchain technology probably because the technology is closely associated with digital currencies. A study by Infosys Finacle revealed that a third of large commercial banks are hoping to launch commercial applications of blockchain in 2018. Target areas of application are; digital identity management, Cross-border remittances, clearing and settlement, letter of credit processes and syndication of loans.
In the same year, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and six other international banking groups are planning to launch a cross-border wiring service leveraging blockchain technology. The other banks are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank of the U.K., Spain’s Banco Santander, Australia’s Westpac Banking and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. With the US start-up Ripple providing blockchain technology, the group will initially offer the global blockchain transfer service to individuals in early 2018, and then slowly expand to corporate clients.
Another interesting initiative is that of UBS, Santandar, BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank. They have already announced that they will be collaborating in a blockchain project and even develop their own cryptocurrency to be in the market in 2018. The group believes that reliable, ready-to-run products across industries will have a positive business case in the next few years.
Compliance and Contract Management
A recent study by IBM Institute for Business Value dubbed “Building trust in government – Exploring the potential of Blockchains”, found out that government organisations in different countries are exploring blockchain uses suitable for their jurisdictions. The study included a survey of 200 government leaders from 16 countries on their experiences with and expectations of blockchain. 90 percent of government organisations plan to invest in blockchain for use in regulatory compliance and contract management. 70 percent of government executives believe that blockchain will greatly disrupt the area of contract management which is at the intersection of public and private sectors.