B2B Payments

Blockchain Starts 2017 With A Bang

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Whether you believe the hype or not, blockchain technology is attracting massive investments, exploration and competition across the globe. In the last week alone, top players in the distributed ledger space have made progress in their own initiatives, from membership growth within blockchain consortia to the pursuit of distributed ledger-related patents by top banks. PYMNTS examines the data surrounding the latest developments of blockchain, already off to a speedy start in 2017.

 

$659 billion worth of goods and services trade between the U.S. and China accumulated in 2015 alone. That figure is expected to increase in 2017 and beyond. According to cross-border payments company Wyre, it represents a massive opportunity for blockchain-based payments companies. Businesses doing B2B trade between the U.S. and China are already spending billions of dollars in payment processing fees, while traditional wire transfers take several days to complete. In 2017, Wyre said, blockchain technology offers the opportunity to reduce both of those metrics. And, according to 9fBank in China, the value of cross-border B2B payments involving China is slated to reach $1.5 trillion in just five years.

356 blockchain-related patents were pursued by companies last November, more than double the number pursued by businesses last January, according to Reed Smith FinTech intellectual property expert Marc Kaufman, reports said last week. He added that experts anticipate the number of patents to be filed by businesses that pertain to blockchain and distributed ledger technology will grow exponentially, hitting thousands of patent filings within five years. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Mastercard are just a few of the largest financial institutions pursuing these patents, which could signal a patent war ahead as many FinTech developers have offered their blockchain tools as open-source offerings. That means companies that develop a blockchain solution are often using technology owned by someone else, reports explained.

16 companies have joined a Dutch consortium eyeing blockchain in logistics, marking the first such initiative of this size, reports said this week. Headed by TKI Dinalog, the group will explore use-cases for blockchain in logistics and supply chain management, including supply chain finance. The project is worth about $2.3 million, reports said, with the businesses involved establishing a goal to develop three applicable use-cases for the technology in this area.

12% of financial services executives have deployed blockchain in production, according to a recent survey by Deloitte, with 24 percent adding that they plan to go live with some type of blockchain tool in 2017. The findings were reiterated last week by Deloitte Consulting LLP Principal Eric Piscini, who also serves as Deloitte’s global blockchain leader for financial services. In an interview with PYMNTS, Piscini explained that blockchain consortia like R3 will be critical to the successful deployment of FinTech solutions that use distributed ledger technology. “With more than 20 consortia in place already,” Piscini said, “we are on our way to success.”

8 new members joined Hyperledger Project, a blockchain consortium that operates across the globe. Among those new members are CA Technologies, Factom Foundation, Hashed Health, Koscom, LedgerDomain, Lykke, the Sovrin Foundation and Swisscom; Hyperleder Project has members in China and across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S., reports noted. According to the consortium, the group now has more than 100 members to explore blockchain tools via research and development efforts. In 2017, Hyperledger Project said, it will look to introduce case studies of blockchain in real-world use cases.

1 new member joined SBI Holdings’ blockchain consortium in Japan, with Fukui Bank now calling itself a part of the consortium that explores the use of distributed ledger for foreign exchange services. The consortium is headed by SBI Holdings, along with its subsidiary SBI Ripple Asia. Fukui Bank’s addition brings the number of members in the group to 43, according to reports last week, representing a significant increase from the initial 15 members that were a part of the consortium at its launch last August.

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