VERTICAL 1Financial Services
Financial Industry leaders are coming to understand that blockchain holds the potential to profoundly transform the industry. Consider the implications for banks, insurers, accountancies, consultancies, and other industry giants of a vast global and distributed ledger running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value – money, equities, bonds and other financial assets, titles, deeds, intellectual property, even votes – can be moved and stored securely and privately, and where trust is established not by powerful intermediaries but through mass collaboration and clever code. This new native digital medium for value would act as ledger of accounts, database, notary, sentry and clearing house, all by a consensus mechanism. This technology holds the potential to make financial markets radically more efficient, secure, inclusive and transparent.
The opportunities — and potential risks — are immense. Blockchain may enable incumbents to do more with less, expand their services, reduce risk and cut costs. But it also radically lowers barriers for new-entrants to create alternatives to the conventional financial industry, challenging incumbents in virtually every market where they operate.
All eight core functions ( See Appendix 1) of financial intermediaries are poised to be transformed, and it is incumbent on the industry’s leaders and new-entrants alike to understand how to harness blockchain technology.