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Financial services industry spends US$1.7b on blockchain

Financial services industry spends US$1.7b on blockchain.

[NEW YORK] Here's proof financial services companies are taking blockchain technology seriously.

The industry spends about US$1.7 billion annually on the distributed ledgers that are best known for underpinning digital currencies, according to researcher Greenwich Associates. Banks and other companies are moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage to commercial distributed ledger technology, or DLT, products, the report said.

The study shows the budgets spent on blockchain increased 67 per cent last year, with one in 10 banks and other firms reporting spending in excess of US$10 million. Likewise, the number of employees working on blockchain initiatives doubled last year.

And though DLT products have been a top focus among financial services firms for the last few years, many have not been able to keep up the pace. "More than half the executives we interviewed told us that implementing DLT was harder than they expected," said Richard Johnson, vice president of Greenwich Associates Market Structure and Technology.

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Despite this, more than three-quarters of projects that are currently under development are expected to go live within two years, he added.