While Wall Street still seems to be divided on the whole issue of bitcoin in general, a recent survey revealed that an overwhelming majority are open to developments related to blockchain technology. This underlying technology, which represents the public ledger of bitcoin transactions, has actually been employed in practical applications related to record-keeping or data security.
According to a survey conducted by Greenwich Associates, 94% of the respondents acknowledged that blockchain technology could also have applications in finance. For one, the technology could speed up the execution of trades and simplify the way in which stocks and derivatives are processed.
Blockchain Technology in Finance
Prior to this, online retail giant Overstock has claimed that its cybersecurity or bond that is based on blockchain technology could transform the financial industry. In relying on a network of computers validating trades, the financial network could enjoy stronger security and eliminate the need for middlemen or clearinghouses.
According to a paper published by Santander, blockchain technology could also allow the banking industry to save as much as $40 million in costs, some of which are related to transaction execution. Several startups have already been working on ways to use blockchain technology to execute and settle trades, saving financial institutions billions of dollars by radically reducing a transaction’s lifespan.
Greenwich Associates surveyed 102 executives at banks, asset managers, financial technology firms and exchanges for their first research report on blockchain. 84% of their respondents say that blockchain could reduce the risk a trade won’t settle and the time that process takes while 74% agreed that it could alleviate the chance your counterparty to a trade won’t make good on the deal.
“It is not bitcoin itself that has the potential for changing the institutional capital markets. The blockchain, the technology that allows bitcoin to exist and be transferred safely without an intermediary, presents a much bigger opportunity for financial services firms,” Greenwich Associates analysts concluded.