The total value of Venture Capital investment in blockchain and Bitcoin startups reached $290 million in the first half of 2016, according to Juniper Research – a UK-based fintech consultancy with prior experience in covering the cryptocurrency field.
The new research report – The Future of Blockchain: Bitcoin, Remittance, ID Verification Smart Contracts 2016-2021 – shows that while over 30 ventures raised VC funding in that period, more than a third of all investment went to just 3 companies: Circle, Blockstream, Digital Asset holdings.
The authors highlighted the increasing diversification of blockchain deployments, with applications ranging from identity to asset management. It pinpointed the banking sector as being particularly proactive, with several banks having already adopted the Ripple protocol and others piloting competing solutions.
The research claimed that in areas such as transaction settlement, the introduction of a blockchain-based system would substantially reduce both the risk of error and the time taken for error checking. Furthermore, it argued that in cross-border remittance, the technology could allow new entrants to offer services at significantly lower costs to consumers.
However, the research cautioned that if smart contracts use blockchain technology, then their contents, including, potentially, bugs or flaws, are visible to all the users of that blockchain. It cited the cyber attack on the DAO which cost investors nearly $80 million in stolen cryptocurrency.
The research author Dr Windsor Holden commented: “While blockchain technology offers the potential for increased speed, transparency and security across an array of verticals, there has to be rigorous and robust roadtesting in each unique use case before any decision is taken.”