Interest in blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, is quickly growing among the world’s leading financial industry players.
Investors provide large sums on the development of the technology, calling it a major breakthrough that could transform the future of the financial sector. Last year, VC investment in bitcoin and blockchain startups reached almost $1 billion.
Several major banks, such as Morgan Stanley, Commerzbank, Societe Generale, HSBC and Barclays, have recently joined forces to investigate blockchain applications as part of the project launched by fintech startup, called R3. More than 40 banks have already signed up for the initiative.
By using the technology financial companies could not only increase the speed of payments, but also significantly reduce settlement costs. Besides, it facilitates instantaneous and secure international transactions, which can now take several days to complete. Meantime, the decentralized nature of the blockchain system makes it difficult for criminals to hack it.
Still, there are a number of issues that prevent companies from adopting the technology. According to the recent PwC report, 57% of companies are unlikely to integrate the distributed ledger system due to different factors. The main challenges, cited by respondents, include IT security, regulatory issues and differences in business models.
However, executives of the most successful bitcoin and blockchain companies, as well as investors in these firms, believe that the industry will continue expanding.
Here are (check the gallery above) some of the most influential figures from both bitcoin and blockchain sectors, who are seeking to further promote the adoption of cryptocurrency and the distributed ledger technology.