- Blockchain is the technology behind web-based cryptocurrency bitcoin. Cyrptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been making a lot of buzz over the last few years
- The underlying blockchain technology emerged from the shadows of cryptocurrencies only at the beginning of last year
What is blockchain
- Blockchain, maintained by a network of distributed independent communicating devices, offers a single source of truth for financial and non-financial transactions without any trusted central authority.
- The fact that blockchain’s distributed database is verified by a network of nodes and continuously grows based on the previous data records, makes it very hard to be tampered with.
- It holds significant promise in helping financial services organizations minimize counterparty risks, speed up settlements, improve contractual performance, and enhance regulatory reporting.
- Blockchain is increasingly drawing attention around the world for building new work processes to make transactions and digital interactions more secure, transparent, efficient and cost-effective, thereby delivering superior experience to customers.
Applications of blockchain
- The basic premise of blockchain is that it decentralizes the age-old centralized trust-based system.
- Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin form just one of the various applications of blockchain to have emerged first.
- Any asset transaction between counterparties is a good candidate for blockchain application, as such transactions typically involve record-keeping, reconciliation and reporting.
- Blockchain offers many use cases in financial institutions, particularly in improving existing processes and reducing the time and risk involved in transactions.
- The technology is continuously evolving and various combinations of platforms, programs and protocols are at play today.
- Some areas with application are
- Smart contracts — computer protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract, or obviate the need for a contractual clause and P2P transactions where senders and receivers can directly send and receive data over a network and where multiple users can connect and share files.
- blockchain and cryptocurrency accelerators in the areas of P2P payments, asset trading, document storage, identity management, and lending, merchant and other financial transactions.
- Cross-border payment and remittances, post-trade settlement, syndicated loans, and trade finance are some of the other areas that many financial services firms are exploring worldwide.
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