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Blockchain – Returning home of the prodigal

February 11, 2020 - Vivek Jeyaraj Principal Consultant, Finacle Product Strategy

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A while ago, there was this insurance advertisement. The father hears the baby say daddy for the first time, then comes mumma, even banana – the dad’s expectations rise, and he goads the baby to say Czechoslovakia.

The story of blockchain isn’t vastly different. After the initial hype, where some marketers saw, as John Oliver put it, their soft drink company stock prices rise because they put blockchain in their name. The higher it rose, the harder it fell and suddenly it was disillusionment everywhere. Luckily folks didn’t give up. Like in the ad which ends with the dad reassuring himself that the baby said banana – and that’s no mean feat!

The distributed ledger gained momentum with the two-fold experiment to demonstrate proofs of concept and value. With the launch of platforms such as R3 Corda, and Hyperledger Fabric, the arrival of 2020 marks the return of the prodigal blockchain. Faith and fanfare is back in the distributed ledger. Regulators aren’t far behind – promoting areas such as eKYC to have their basis in blockchain, there’s a bandwagon again – including Infosys’ own blockchain-based trade finance network.

The value of blockchain is finally real. And was demonstrated inescapably when its secure environment for digitization, automation, and approval in workflows. With a blockchain-based working capital finance system, banks are disbursing funds against invoices, albeit limited to certain types and value, in less than a day. This turnaround time used to be as long as 20. To mimic the dad in the insurance ad, 95% reduction in disbursal time isn’t a mean feat!

With the disillusionment in blockchain being unable to deliver on promises firmly in the past, there is a renewed focus and fervor in blockchain solutions. What will the future hold? How far will blockchain take us, as digital takes the world by storm? Read more in the Finacle’s report on top 10 banking trend to scale digital in 2020 as we look into the different strategies businesses are adopting in their blockchain initiatives, newer revenue streams, and diverse applications.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Vivek Jeyaraj

Principal Consultant, Finacle Product Strategy

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