Major portions of the financial industry are implementing distributed ledgers for use in banking, and according to a September 2016 IBM study, this is occurring faster than expected.
Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.
Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Berenberg, a German bank, believes that blockchain is an "overhyped technology" that has had a large number of "proofs of concept", but still has major challenges, and very few success stories.
In December 2018, Bitwala launched Europe's first regulated blockchain banking solution that enables users to manage both their bitcoin and euro deposits in one place with the safety and convenience of a German bank account. The bank account is hosted by the Berlin-based solarisBank.
The blockchain has also given rise to Initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as a new category of digital asset called Security Token Offerings (STOs), also sometimes referred to as Digital Security Offerings (DSOs). STO/DSOs may be conducted privately or on a public, regulated stock exchange and are used to tokenize traditional assets such as company shares as well as more innovative ones like intellectual property, real estate, art, or individual products. A number of companies are active in this space providing services for compliant tokenization, private STOs, and public STOs.
- 5Academic research