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How can Blockchain be used in Financial Services?

  • Vanshika Kaushik
  • Sep 24, 2021
How can Blockchain be used in Financial Services? title banner

As the world is moving forward at such a rapid pace, it is important to evolve. Evolutions are important not only for humans but also for industries to stay in line with the developments. In the modern era Tech is refining the age old working systems of several industries. 


Finance is one amidst many sectors that are absorbing the benefits of technology, to leap forward. It is taking one step at a time to synchronize with the modern day trends. Digital ledger, automated softwares and blockchain are some key examples of an integrated fintech approach. 


Let’s dig a little deeper to understand how blockchain can actually reshape the future of finance. But wait, isn't it important to understand blockchain first, it is right so here you go...



What is a blockchain?



In simple words blockchain is a combination of mini blocks that store information. The mini blocks of blockchain contain information about their next and previous block neighbours. Blocks work as a storage system for the entire blockchain network. 


Blocks, chains, nodes and masternodes are the key components of a blockchain. The blocks in the network are controlled by nodes (Computers, laptops and servers in a blockchain network are known as nodes). 


The addition of blocks to the blockchain is a complex procedure that involves solving mathematical equations. This task of solving complex mathematical problems puts curbs on limitless addition to the blockchain network. 


As the task of solving hash codes is extremely difficult, it is practically impossible to hack, cheat or make changes to the blockchain network. 


(Must Check: Blockchain Technology Explained- Components and Applications)



3 Features of Blockchain



  • Blockchain offers a decentralized system, the power to make changes in the blockchain network lies with the people. Blockchain networks are free from the interventions of government and financial institutions. 


  • Blockchains can be used for storing information, the digital ledger system simplifies sharing the information. It can be used to share information directly with the people connected over the network. 


  • Blockchain provides a secure network for making transactions. The robust security system is the reason different industries are exploring blockchain technology. 


(Related Blog: 3 Types of Block in a Blockchain Network)



What is the role of Blockchain in Finance?


The financial sector is the backbone of every country's economy. It is the key force behind a country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and GNP (Gross National Product). Banks, stock exchanges, and insurance are some industries that are leveraging the power of blockchain to improve the efficacies of the working system.


While banks are using blockchain’s technology to maintain a smart ledger system, insurance companies are focusing on quick settlement of claims via the decentralized blockchain system. 


Checkout this video to learn about blockchain and how it's leading the change in the financial sector. 


Blockchain in the Stock Market



Even in the modern era trading is a complex process, a stockbroker, trader and other intermediaries are involved in the simple process of trading. Stock Exchanges have some set of rules that prohibit easy trading. The power of making money via stocks therefore stays concentrated in the hands of few. 


Blockchain offers a decentralized platform, it will increase the transparency in stock trading. Blockchain will eliminate the complex procedure of multi-person involvement. Through smart contracts, blockchain can be used to maintain a record of transactions. 


NASDAQ is exploring the use of blockchain technology for trade settlement processes, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Australian Stock Exchanges (ASX) are also using blockchain technology for reducing the administrative costs and to increase transparency in business operations. 


Blockchain technology will also facilitate cross border trading. People sitting in Asia can invest in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). At present cross border trading is a difficult task, but post adoption of blockchain the stock market will be “liberated” from the shackles of cross border share trading. 


(Related Blog: Top 10 Benefits of the Stock Market)


Companies and Use Cases


Strix Leviathan, Ambisafe, Circle and Paxos are some companies that are using blockchain technology for trade simplification. The blockchain network provides real time market data, and further traders use blockchain based tools for making predictions about the cryptocurrency rates. 



Possible Future Trends


Blockchain networks in the future will facilitate the creation of digital stocks. Digital Stocks will rule the future stock market. These stocks will be similar to equity stocks. Digital stockholders will receive dividends like equity stockholders. 

This image describe various use cases of blockchain technology

Blockchain and its use cases in various industries


Blockchain in the Insurance Industry



Settling the claims is the most arduous task for life insurance providers. Checking for the right claim striking off a list of clauses one by one is quite hectic. The procedure for keeping the record of transactions is an even bigger one. 


Smart Contracts can eliminate the complex task of maintaining records and claim settlement. Ethereum, Solana and Polkadot are some blockchain based platforms that provide a robust smart contract system. Smart Contracts can save all the data at a single place. 


An autonomous claim settlement system built using the blockchain system can eradicate the difficulties of trade settlement. The autonomous system will credit the money in the claimant’s account. 


Insurance providers can also create microservices using shared APIs. Claim settlement becomes transparent via the blockchain technology.


(Must Check: What are Different Types of Insurance?)



Companies and Use Cases


Black, Lemonade, Teambrella and RiskBazaar are some startups that are exploring the use cases of blockchain technology in the insurance industry. These startups are providing insurance services through the blockchain. 


These startups are also leveraging the benefits of artificial intelligence algorithms  along with the blockchain technology to reshape the insurance sector. The blockchain based system keeps the record of the people at a single place. 



Possible Future Trends


Blockchain has the calibre to give a push to the insurance industry. Multi-faceted developments will take place in the insurance sector in the upcoming future.


As blockchain will cut down the administrative costs, both insurance settler and claimant will be benefited. In the future more insurance companies will embrace blockchain technology, for simple record maintenance and automated record settlement systems. 


(Related Blog: 6 Applications of AR in Insurance Industry)



Blockchain with Mutual Funds


Although there have been multiple changes in the financial sector, one thing that remains constant even now is the “centralization” in the mutual fund industry. 


At present there are numerous applications available for hassle free investments but a lot of people still follow the cliche route of contacting a broker, or investing with the fund house. 


This makes the simple task of investing a complicated one. As blockchain provides a “decentralization” it can break the barriers that are involved in investing. Blockchain can provide assistance in KYC completion and updation.


Blockchain enabled mutual funds can cut down the processing time of transactions. As the blocks double check the transactions before allowing an addition to the new one they are right fit for conducting anti-money laundering tests (Anti money laundering tests are conducted to analyze illegal or suspicious transactions)


Smart Contracts that are present on the blockchain network can automatically save the customer data. Blockchain can also help in the calculation of net asset value (Net Asset Value provides assistance in keeping a track of fund’s performance).


Blockchain can eradicate multiple intermediaries that are involved in mutual fund investing.


(Must Check: Mutual Funds in India: An Overview)



Companies and Use Cases


Vanguard and Invesco are some investment management companies that are leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology. Vanguard is using the blockchain technology for synchronizing the database. Whenever the CRSP ( Centre of Research in Security Prices) makes changes to the existing database the system gets automatically updated. 


Possible Future Trends


Blockchain networks in the future will be used to keep a record of transactions via the smart contracts. Blockchain Technology will wipe off multiple intermediaries that are in the purchasing process. It will pave the way for hassle free investing in mutual funds.


Blockchain in Banking


Blockchain can give a big push to the banking sector. Contrary to the common notion that blockchain will disrupt the banking sector, it can reshape the present and future of banks.


Blockchain can help in speeding up the loan verification process. Loan Verification is an extremely lengthy process that involves multiple security checks, blockchain will open the way for peer-to-peer loans. 


Blockchain technology will reduce the time spent in verification processes. As an individual’s data will be contained in the digital ledger the transaction process will be simplified. 


No account opening process is complete without an individual’s identity verification. While multiple nodal officers conduct these tasks, it makes the simple verification process a big hassle. 


Blockchain can help in “digital identity verification” and that will further facilitate a “quick account opening process.”  


(Must Check: Introduction to Investment Banking)

Sending payment across the globe via bank transfer takes an average of five or more days. Blockchain can help in reducing the transaction time. It can provide faster payments via its “decentralized platform” the transaction cost will also be reduced as the blockchain technology will bring in a new level of services and wider transparency. 



Companies and Use Cases


HSBC and Citibank are two leading banks that are using blockchain technology. HSBC is using blockchain for digital vaults. It will further expand the use case of blockchain technology for providing seamless customer experience. 



Possible Future Trends


Blockchain can improvise the standard banking systems. Decentralized systems will be the future of banking and other financial institutions. They will provide peer-to-peer loans that will aid in making the banking system more transparent. 


Banks will embrace blockchain technology in future the integration of the duo will be beneficial for banks and individuals. 

This blog describes companies and how they are using the blockchain network

Companies that are using blockchain technology for imparting financial services

Summing Up



"Blockchain Technologies will change transactions in a broad way”- Brad Garlinghouse


Blockchain has step by step made the transaction  process simple, quick and easy. The processes which took almost five days can now be done and dusted within a span of minutes. This technology has the power to transform the future of financial services. It will move hand-in-hand with finance and refine the existing systems. 

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