A new survey suggests that many finance professionals see a bright future for blockchain, the technology underlying bitcoin, just not one involving bitcoin itself.
Blockchain is at the centre of much hype at the moment as it promises to save major financial institutions billions of dollars on the cost of settling trades and other financial transactions, while improving efficiency and reducing errors.
A number of CEOs of financial institutions and investors are showing interest in the blockchain. This includes Blythe Masters, chief executive officer of New York technology startup Digital Asset Holdings.
"I never became particularly enamored with cryptocurrency." state Masters.
However, Masters recognises that there is a long list of positive attributes that the blockchain technology can support, such as designing software that banks, exchanges and other market players can use to make financial transactions more efficient as well as speed the execution and settlement of trades in markets including syndicated loans and repurchase agreements.
Bleeding edge technology companies, such as EverLedger.io, are applying the immutable ledger to insuring physical assets too.
Examples as to where blockchain could be used in insurance include time stamping, registering land ownership or its ability to track precious gems so that to prevent fraud, eliminating paper or analog certificates that could be tampered with.
A recent study found 94 percent of financial services professionals surveyed on Wall Street said blockchain-- also called a distributed ledger or decentralized ledger-- could be used in finance. Some companies have already put the blockchain to use as a mechanism for ATM withdrawals, gold bullion-related recordkeeping and land title registries. Still, the blockchain can appear complex and intimidating even to financial professionals.