From being a mysterious technology for questionable environments, blockchain is now drawing interest from established players in the banking and finance market.
The very first application of the “blockchain” technology was the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin, which proved that it was possible to create “digital cash”, allowing members of the blockchain network to transact directly and anonymously, without any central authority or intermediary.
A blockchain is a network of computers, where all the members of the network maintain a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but that no single user controls. The ledger is built using a linked list, or chain, of blocks, where each block contains a number of transactions that was performed in a given timespan.
This feature attracted attention from plenty of tech-enthusiasts, who saw the possibility of revolutionising the way finance is performed. Unsurprisingly, the promise of anonymity also appealed to people with less honourable intentions, and bitcoin gained an unsavoury reputation due to some widely published scandals.
This year however, almost every major financial institution in the world has seemed to realize the potential of the underlying blockchain technology, and how a shared, replicated ledger can be utilized for massive efficiency gains. In a twist of irony, the technology that was heralded to be the end of bank and government control, suddenly was spotlighted to be the ultimate revolution in how banks will upgrade their back-end systems for the future.
EVRY is now exploring how to use blockchain technology on syndication of loans, which is an obvious field of use. In parallell, we investigate other valuable applications and how we can work with product developement as requirements will mature.
EVRY has published a whitepaper titled Blockchain – Powering the Internet of Value. In this paper we provide comprehensive insight into the technology, as well as its potential use in the finance industry. Use-cases within trade finance, capital markets, as well as domestic and international payments are proposed.
Jarle Holm, head of Innovation Lab, Financial Services in EVRY, who prepared the report Blockchain – Powering the Internet of Value.
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