Blockchain has been on finance professionals’ radar for some years now. Back in 2018, Visma | Onguard discussed how blockchain was starting to revolutionise the financial world, but analysis noted that a general lack of understanding around the potential applications had led to low uptake of the technology so far. Many organisations even discredited blockchain adoption as a passing fad that would fade within a few years.
Fast forward to today: 65% of organisations have either adopted blockchain technology or worked out the first ideas for future blockchain adoption. Of this 65%, almost a third are already utilising the technology, representing a 12% increase on last year’s levels. This is according to our 2021 Fintech Barometer, which spanned a range of questions gathering the thoughts of finance professionals. Among the most significant of findings was the growing market trend towards blockchain adoption.
Changes over the last four years
The variety of opportunities blockchain presents in finance likely links to the uptake in blockchain. In our research, 28% of respondents flagged enhanced data security as a key benefit.
Meanwhile 25% also highlighted the greater ease with which international and corporate payments could be made.
The journey to blockchain adoption isn’t yet free of hurdles. Security, regarded as the biggest hurdle, was identified as less of a challenge in 2021. This saw a decrease from 40% in 2018 to 35% this year. It appears that more users are now gaining confidence in the decentralised security features of the technology. And additionally its built-in protections against cybercrime.
In terms of hurdles, increased awareness has driven change. More finance professionals now know where these hurdles lie, which provides the best opportunity to traverse them. In our research, there has been a reduction in respondents who report being unsure of the challenges.. It’s a further sign that blockchain is certainly gaining credibility in the fintech sector.
Blockchain set to stay
Further findings from our Fintech Barometer found that the increase in blockchain adoption may not be a short-term fad. In fact, growing numbers of financial organisations are now integrating it into their long-term strategies. This is even more prominent when looking at the relationship between blockchain and robotic process automation (RPA). Results from the 2021 segment of our survey discovered that 40% of businesses are developing ideas on how to incorporate robotisation into their blockchain adoption, an increase from 25% in 2020.
It’s evident that blockchain has taken its next step in 2021. More people now have an awareness and understanding of how the technology works, which is encouraging professionals to adopt it, along with emerging and complementary technologies such as RPA that are also coming to the fore. The development of the blockchain narrative since 2018 is likely a reflection of what’s to come over the next four years.
For the full rundown of insights and trends over the course of four years in the finance sector, download the full whitepaper here.
This blog was also published by Financial IT.