In a recent global fintech survey of leaders from the world’s top financial institutions, accounting and management consulting giant PwC determined that, while 56% of survey respondents recognize the importance of blockchain technology, 56% are unsure or unlikely to respond to the blockchain trend.
The study surveyed 544 respondents, mostly Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Heads of Innovation, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and top-tier managers involved in digital and technological transformation.
In reality, a factor driving uncertainty about blockchain technology may be a lack of familiarity with the it. 83% of the survey respondents said that they are at best “moderately” familiar with blockchain tech.
From the report, it is apparent that PwC believes that blockchain technology will disrupt the global financial services industry.
In our view, blockchain technology may result in a radically different competitive future in the FS industry, where current profit pools are disrupted and redistributed toward the owners
of new, highly efficient blockchain platforms. Not only could there be huge cost savings through its use in back-office operations but also large gains in transparency that could Be Very positive from an audit and regulatory point of view. One particular hot topic is that of ‘smart contracts’ – contracts that are translated into computer programs and, as such, have the ability to be self-Executing and self-maintaining. This area is just starting to be explored, but its potential for automating and speeding up manual and costly processes is huge.
PwC believes that innovation from blockchain oriented start-ups growing very fast. The professional services firm’s Global Blockchain Team has identified more than 700 companies entering the blockchain space, 150 of which it deems worthy of being tracked and 25 likely to merge as leaders.
PwC notes that the lack understanding of blockchain tech and its potential for disruption poses significant risks to the existing profit pools and business models. The firm
recommends a pro-active approach to identify and respond to the various threats and opportunities that the disruptive technology presents.
In the survey, PwC list it as a global trend that will impact asset and wealth management, as well as insurance.
However, the survey ranked blockchain 9th among trends important to the banking industry 11th among trends important to the payments and funds transfer industry.