Blockchain is a technology you need to be aware of.
Because of its immense potential, more than 70 of the world’s largest financial institutions (including Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street and UBS to name a few) are part of a consortium researching and developing blockchain technology. Moreover, PwC’s Global Blockchain Team has identified more than 700 start-up companies in the space and blockchain technology is viewed by some as the fifth paradigm of computing following the mainframe, the personal computer, the Internet and finally the mobile and social network revolution.
Not yet familiar with blockchain? You are not alone. In fact, according to a 2016 survey of top-tier executives at some of the world’s top financial institutions, less than 20% of respondents described themselves as “very familiar” or “extremely familiar” with the technology. That being said, 56% of survey respondents recognize its importance.
Why that lack of familiarity with a technology that has the potential to revolutionize commerce as we know it? We believe that this is, in part, attributable to the fact that many industries are still focusing their efforts on leveraging the Internet and mobile technology to enhance client front-end experiences. The financial services and insurance industries in particular are playing catch-up in this space. With so much attention focused on the front office platforms, little attention has been paid to archaic back-office and mid-office systems, where blockchain technology is most applicable. Another factor contributing to the lack of knowledge in this space may be that people have a hard time wrapping their heads around what amounts to a paradigm shift in how humans have always conducted business.
At Equisoft we believe that blockchain technology and its potential implications to the financial services and insurance sectors warrant close attention. As such, we have formed an internal blockchain task force to better understand the technology and how it can be leveraged by our clients. The group’s first initiative was the development of the basic introduction to the topic contained in the following pages. We trust that our overview provides you with some clarity and food for thought regarding this potentially game-changing technology.