11.22.2017
By Rob Daly

Blockchain Investment Dips

Investment is off for distributed ledger related vendors this year, but that has not dulled Wall Street’s interest in the technology, concludes consultancy KPMG.

In 2016, venture capital firms invested $392 million in the maturing technology and closed 75 deals. However, those figures have fallen to $171 million (YTD) and 52 transactions (YTD).

“Blockchain interest could also skyrocket should a solution move into production in any significant way,” wrote the authors of The Pulse of Fintech Q3 2017 review.

The authors also wrote that digital ledger technology continues to receive a significant amount of buzz. However, other maturing technologies like artificial intelligence, robo advisory, and regtech also are competing for mindshare and investments in the developed markets.

Several institutions are developing production-ready blockchain-based systems internally, and deployments may be closer than previously thought, they added.

Besides investing in their internal projects, financial firms are also participating look to leverage the development community at large via participating in consortia, such as R3.

“While R3 initially was quite varied in its development efforts, it has increasingly focussed on specific areas of the blockchain, including derivative trading, payments, and trade settlement,” wrote the authors. “Its evolution highlights both the maturation of R3 as a consortium and the growing recognition that blockchain development needs to be well-attended in order to ensure development progress and, hopefully, rapid commercialization.”

Nevertheless, financial firms should not expect that advancements in distributed ledgers will come from private industry.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been a hotbed of interest and research in the application of distributed ledgers within financial services for the past few years, according to KPMG.

The MAS has launched ten blockchain-related projects to date and will be moving them to proofs-of-concept stage.

“Some of these are expected to enter pilot stages in 2018 and possible implementation in 2020,” noted the authors.

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