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Swell 2019: Fueling Blockchain Adoption and Innovation

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Swell 2019 discussions and presentations centered around the numerous ways businesses today are implementing blockchain technology. But just how far-reaching is adoption of this technology?

At the event’s closing fireside, Ripple VP of Global Sales Strategy and Operations James Wallis and Celent Sr. Analyst of Corporate Banking Alenka Grealish presented key results around adoption from the second annual Blockchain in Payments Report.

The report examines how payment service providers use or plan to use blockchain technology and digital assets to overcome the complex, unreliable and expensive process sending global payments.

This year’s findings reveal widespread adoption of blockchain-based payments by financial service providers. “The toughest point of any new technology is going from the early adopters to the early majority. This year, we saw that 35% of respondents are in production. We’ve crossed the chasm of adoption,” explained Grealish.

“Blockchain is becoming a reality, that is the key message. This spike in adoption is really a proof point that the value and the feasibility of leveraging blockchain in payments has been proven,” remarked Wallis.

The proven capabilities of blockchain in production was the initial spark for broad adoption. The next milestone, according to Grealish, is scalability of the technology. “Scalability and ultimately increased adoption speed is contingent upon factors including simplified implementation and regulatory clarity.”

At the end of the day though, remarked Wallis, blockchain adoption centers around trust. Strong adoption signals that both customers and providers have proven the value and feasibility of blockchain technology. Moreover, trust has been won.

Confidence in blockchain is imperative to leverage blockchain for other use cases. “I think as you succeed using blockchain and remittances, it’s a natural stepping stone to SMEs or micropayments—which also were listed by respondents as key products they wanted to get into,” said Grealish.

In addition, Wallis sees blockchain revolutionizing security and identity. “If you think about the ability to have your identity or information about your preferences, your medical history, your financial history—whatever is shared on a permission basis to someone else so that they can make a decision, whether to lend you money or to provide similar service, that, to me, is something that will be another game changer. In fact, when you put payments and identity together, I view this as the killer app for blockchain.”

To download the full report or to learn more about how blockchain technology and digital assets can be leveraged within your financial institution, contact us today.

We’ll continue to update Insights with more recaps from Swell. Don’t miss a single Swell session, watch full sessions from the on-stage discussions today.

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