Building bridges for blockchain

Published: September 8, 2016

Although blockchain is gaining considerable attention for its potential transformational role in both payments and trade finance, a number of challenges still lie ahead. 

While much has been said about the role which distributed ledgers can play in reshaping financial services across the board, analysts are identifying opportunities in payments and trade finance as potentially having the greatest impact. 

Increasingly, investment is being focused on how distributed ledgers can be deployed to streamline the payments cycle, share critical details, and reduce payment times and costs.

Distributed ledgers technology, also known as blockchain, is identified as a digital solution that can enhance collaboration between all the different parties in a trading group, including banks, buyers, suppliers and carriers, providing them with improved visibility into the supply chain in real-time.

Still, much work is needed to transform blockchain into an applicable set of solutions that brings real benefits. Today, the technology is being refined, and experimented with, by banks, fintechs and IT firms who are sometimes joining forces in consortia, geared at solving industry-wide problems.

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