CFOs take lead in implementing blockchain fintech
by Bija Knowles
Most financial organisations are already adopting blockchain technology or are considering how to do so. And the CFO is often the primary decision-maker for new blockchain-based fintech.
European Blockchain Partnership
This week, European Commission announced its European Blockchain Partnership to promote a blockchain infrastructure for the EU and encourage collaboration and exchange of information between EU member countries to develop the technology. Twenty-two European countries signed a declaration, aimed at avoiding a fragmented approach, and the sharing of technical and regulatory expertise among member states, as well as creating ways to promote blockchain applications across the EU-wide Digital Single Market.
Financial sector already adapting
This is a positive step for European markets but other research suggests that the financial sector doesn't need much encouragement in adopting distributed ledger technology (DLT): the majority of financial organisations are already firmly on board with blockchain and many are already implementing solutions or considering how to do this. The research, by Onguard, the order-to-cash software firm, suggests that blockchain is already well established and accepted in the financial sector – if companies aren't using it yet, they are preparing to do so. The most common benefit of blockchain technology is enhanced data security but 60 per cent of financial organisations have developed initiatives to help automate admin processes and payments while 32 per cent are using it for the validation of documents. Onguard's research found that:
- 65 per cent of finance organisations are already prepared or preparing for an initiative related to blockchain;
- 16 per cent of professionals, however, said they don't know what blockchain is;
- 30 per cent of finance professionals believe that blockchain technology has the ability to offer enhanced data security in their organisation;
- 51 per cent are confident that their organisation will be working with smart contracts incorporated in blockchain by this time next year;
- 19 per cent of finance businesses are already working with blockchain integrated smart contracts;
- 32 per cent of finance organisations already have a job opening for a blockchain expert.
Data security main benefit
Onguard's CEO, Bert van der Zwan, said: “While the exact uses of blockchain are not yet defined, the level of activity using this form of technology is only going to increase. Businesses are already benefitting from enhanced data security, but I expect that this is just the beginning of a blockchain revolution with nearly two-thirds of organisations already preparing an initiative related to blockchain.”
Van der Zwan also noted that the CFO has a crucial role in introducing blockchain technology, as almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said that the CFO in their organisation is the primary decision-maker in regards to the use of new technologies related to financial products and services.
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