In a recent article at CoinDesk titled PwC's 3 Predictions for Blockchain Tech in 2016, two top-notch PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) leaders, Jeremy Drane and Cathryn Marsh, opined on the future of Blockchain technology in the financial world and made some predictions on the emerging technology.
The speed at which blockchain technology is being explored and adopted is unprecedented.
We are watching it move from a startup idea to an established technology in a tiny fraction of the time it took for the Internet or even the PC to be accepted as a standard tool. Financial institutions are already beginning to realize the potential of this next-generation business process improvement software to structurally alter shared practices between customers, competitors and suppliers.
They mention that Blockchain technology may result in a radically different competitive future in the financial services industry, where current profit pools are disrupted and redistributed toward the owners of new highly efficient blockchain platforms. They see three trends they believe will be important:
- Incumbents will focus on protecting their intellectual property as they explore new collaborative opportunities with customers, suppliers, and competitors
- Large financial institutions will need strategic plans to set parameters for technology risk taking
- Market participants will start to develop the processes that surround the transactional layer.
We believe established financial institutions should build a core level of technical proficiency and understanding so they can better determine which information they should share in open forums versus what they should keep confidential.
They note that there are some questions around how financial institutions can filter, evaluate, and assess these new solutions to make sure they're a good investments but advocate for strategic plans that help set parameters and steer the direction of investments and establish solid criteria for selecting projects and partners.
We also see the beginning of the shift from financial institutions asking, ‘How can we utilize blockchain?' to ‘How can we establish the supporting processes to leverage this new technology?' and, more importantly, ‘How do these new processes impact our risk profile?'
We advocate for early involvement of various corporate functions (such as compliance, risk and internal audit) so that proofs-of-concept don't get stalled and can more easily make the jump to the next round of internal funding.