Ahead of base60’s blockchain panel discussion at Cloud Expo Europe, Principal Consultant Charles Davis talks on the emerging tech’s implementation in financial services

Financial institutions have been researching and running internal proof of concepts around blockchain technology for several years. Generally, focus has varied between institutions due to factors such as market position, internal buy-in from senior management, as well as identifying the right problem to solve.

More recent ‘interest’ comes from the mainstream publicity around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. It is a mistake to mix these two concepts, but prudent to understand the potential impact each can have on the industry.

What’s the hold-up?

Some of the big themes include an uncertain regulatory regime, the lack of standards, and the difficulty in both driving and managing the collaboration required for widespread adoption.

One of the biggest difficulties currently is putting together a tangible business case to support such a whole-scale reengineering that blockchain implies. We have to remember that financial services is an industry with a large existing infrastructure and therefore must first tackle the inertia inherent in such legacy systems. This isn’t such an issue in areas where this infrastructure does not exist.

The derivatives space has been making progress over the last few years with large-scale implementations underway in the post-trade utility space. There are also parallel initiatives focused on defining data model standards and common trade representations which is really exciting and should be another enabler for adoption and wider industry efficiencies.

There is still a way to go on this front but it is one of the areas that we should all be paying attention to and will certainly learn a great deal from whatever the result may be. Our panel experts will all have something interesting to contribute to this conversation.

Beyond financial services

Blockchain will take off in any industry where there are multiple steps in an exchange process and where actors (or the ultimate receiver) value traceability. There are a multitude of scenarios in the context of a supply chain that fit this category.

It is exciting to see what directions the technology can take us in and I will be eagerly following (and hopefully contributing to) its progress.


CEEL_Date_UK_2018_CMYK-copy-191x160Join base60 at the panel discussion Blockchain Implementation in Financial Services: What’s the hold-up?, taking place in the Finance & Banking Technology Theatre at Cloud Expo Europe 2018 – 13:50 -14:20 Thursday 22nd March. Register for your free ticket today!