Magister Advisors, a U.K.-based company that advises the technology industry on mergers and acquisitions, interviewed 30 of the leading bitcoin companies from across the globe. The company found a consensus view that Bitcoin will become the sixth largest global reserve currency within 15 years, which means that Bitcoin will be held in large amounts by governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves.
Many observers believe the real value of the digital currency lies in blockchain technology. The survey found that an estimated $1 billion will be spent by the top 100 financial institutions on blockchain-related projects over the next 24 months.
“Blockchain is without question the most significant advancement in enterprise IT in a decade, on a par with big data and machine learning. What JAVA is to the Internet, blockchain is to financial services. We have now reached a fork in the road with bitcoin and blockchain. Bitcoin has proven itself as an established currency. Blockchain, more fundamentally, will become the default global standard distributed ledger for financial transactions,” said Jeremy Millar, partner at Magister Advisors who led the research.
In September, 13 of the world’s leading banks joined a project to explore the possibilities behind using blockchain in the mainstream financial world. Institutions like Bank of America, Citi and Deutsche Bank joined others like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan that had already signed up.
“Banks will initially be unwilling to remove the core infrastructure that handles the process of clearance and settlement but they will increasingly run parallel blockchain processes, evidence by the spike in investment that our poll has identified,” said Millar.
“Blockchain technology will underpin a growing number of routine transactions globally as trust grows. Our interviews with 30 of the leading Bitcoin companies worldwide cement our view that the currency is gaining traction. Growing vendor acceptance and the adoption of Bitcoin in developing markets are creating a pincer movement that will lead to widespread business and consumer acceptance and adoption over time,” he added.
Since Bitcoin has been heavily criticized for facilitating illegal activity, given that it can be used anonymously, the recent report by Magister Advisors directly tackled the issue of volatility. It said that the primary usage of Bitcoin today in developed markets was for speculation. The survey’s respondents estimated that 90 percent of bitcoin by value is being held for speculation, not for commercial transactions.