Is blockchain going mainstream?

by Matthew Reynolds

People have been talking about how blockchain, the distributed ledger system behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, could penetrate new industries and work its way into everyday use. Now, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is turning this idea into a reality. They’ve completed a test run between companies in London and Tokyo focusing on currency clearing and settlements with the goal of speedy transactions and high security in mind, says WSJ. JP Morgan may even start using blockchain in live transactions as early as this year.

That claim warranted some deeper thought.                                           67620969_ac848e4c76_q

The technology is finally reaching implementation with a major financial player. This move shows that blockchain is no longer a fun theory or an experiment, but in fact, the present. JP Morgan has increased its spending on cybersecurity by 20% and increased its total tech spending to $9.4 billion last year.

So: are we really ready for blockchain?

The signs point towards “yes.” Major financial services players like IBM, Goldman Sachs, Accenture, and others have already heavily invested the technology’s future. Australia is on its way to having its equity clearing and settlement systems on blockchain. We’re well past the point of theory now; blockchain is for real, and the waves it sends across industries will be disruptive, to put it mildly. We’ll continue to dig into blockchain here in our Thought Leadership department to determine how disruptive it can be - and who’s most at risk of being left behind.

Matthew Reynolds is an Editorial Assistant at Oxford Economics, where he aids research programs in a variety of industries.