A seismic shift in attitude appears to be underway as bankers, who long have dismissed public blockchains, now appear to believe it will gain greater prominence over the next five years.
By comparison, 80% believe the same for private blockchains, with half of them thinking blockchain technology will “fundamentally transform” the banking industry, while 91% say blockchain tech will be “either critical or important to their firm’s future.”
The data is based on a survey by Cognizant, a technology consulting firm, which studied the attitudes of 1,520 executives from 578 financial service firms.
“The vast majority of respondents (90%) said their firm has identified or is in the process of identifying functions or processes that can be automated with blockchain, and three-quarters said they expect the technology will eventually allow them to automate 2.5% or more jobs at their company,” says the report.
As much as $20 billion annually could be saved in infrastructure costs through blockchain technology, with respondents highlighting a number of benefits as shown below:
There is uncertainty regarding privacy and scalability, the report says, so some firms are waiting for more clarity while some early adopters are pushing ahead rapidly.
“Waiting for clarity before moving forward is not a viable option,” the report says before adding: “to ensure they are not left behind, firms need to move quickly to determine how their business strategy can leverage blockchain, build the required capabilities into their business processes and technology systems, and become comfortable with collaborating on projects with external partners, customers and even competitors.”
That could be because blockchain technology may affect businesses at a strategic level as early adopters may gain significant advantages by being first to utilize the cost savings and efficiency gains.
Was Ethereum the Catalyst for the Change in Attitudes?
A number of banks have joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance with eth’s blockchain seemingly becoming an industry standard in private blockchain implementations.
The main reason is probably because ethereum has a public blockchain, therefore it has a huge bounty of some $25 billion for anyone who can exploit any bug. As none have managed so far, that means you can be sure it is very secure.
The second benefit of a public blockchain is the potential to more easily connect it to a private blockchain, thus potentially allowing different blockchains to communicate with each other.
Moreover, having one secure and thoroughly daily tested core protocol, with other customized private blockchains revolving around it, may make more sense in regards to developers talent which is in short supply, but largely attracted to eth, as they can test their skills or transfer them to the the public blockchain or other eth based blockchains.
Since ethereum’s community has an attitude of “political neutrality” and many household brands have endorsed it, it is probable this change in attitude is mainly due to the newcomer, which appears to have created a seismic shift as the idea of public and private blockchain collaboration takes ground.