A recent survey by Greenwich Associates reports financial and technology markets will invest $1 billion in blockchain technology this year.
The interviewees cited the vested interest the financial industry has in legacy systems as the main obstacle to blockchain investment.
The survey indicates trends from the past two years are continuing in 2016. Venture capital-backed investment in bitcoin and blockchain companies jumped from $3 million in 2011 to $474 million in 2015, CCN.com reported in March. The number of deals rose from two in 2011 to 75 in 2014 and 74 in 2015.
The $1 billion estimates are based on Greenwich Associates survey participants’ yearly budgets for blockchain-related initiatives, which surpass $200 million.
Greenwich Associates, a global provider of market intelligence and advisory services to the ﬁnancial services industry based in Stamford, Conn. estimated its survey sample represents about a fifth of the blockchain industry.
Blockchain is a distributed, encrypted system of transferring assets. It is the architecture behind bitcoin and is considered by many in the financial industry as having the potential to transform finance.
A majority of the 134 survey participants agreed blockchain technology has the capability of changing capital markets within the next five years. The participants included asset managers, banks, exchanges, and blockchain technology firms.
Richard Johnson, vice president of Greenwich’s market structure and technology group, said the financial sector will continue putting its weight behind the technology in 2016 because the technology has started to prove itself fit to serve capital markets.
In the past 18 months, the hype behind blockchain has mushroomed even as the financial industry’s actual adoption of the technology has leveled off.
The report noted that in 2016, a more rational discussion of blockchain technology is emerging, with market participants gaining a stronger sense of it and figuring out how to best adapt it to their markets. Financial companies are identifying use cases where the technology can be most disruptive.
Asset managers are taking a back seat in supporting blockchain for the time being. But exchanges, banks, and brokers are leading the charge to develop the technology in the hope that it can cut costs, lessen settlement times and assist with payments.