Blockchain has only been around since 2008, so one can be forgiven for not understanding what it is or what it can do. But having been developed to solve a single problem, that of transferring cryptocurrencies, its use across the financial services industry, and beyond, has grown exponentially as its true potential became apparent, reports Irish Times.
A truly disruptive technology, it is now reshaping businesses across the globe, with the result that the associated innovation is outpacing existing business models, ecosystems, policy and legislation.
Blockchain is one of the most significant technological breakthroughs of the 21st century, and has led to exponential growth in fintech innovation, says Dave Feenan, network manager, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and 2022 chair of Blockchain Ireland. He notes that the blockchain market is projected to grow from $4.9 billion (€4.67 billion) in 2021, to $67.4 billion (€64.25 billion) by 2026, as its use snowballs across sectors and industries.
The traditional financial industry requires multiple third parties and intermediaries to perform certain transactions, Feenan points out. “Blockchain technology removes the need for many of these intermediaries by streamlining payments services, reducing friction in post-trade settlement systems, and supporting fractional ownership of high-value assets.”