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Blockchain: 'Overhyped' buzzword or real-deal enterprise solution?

Lucas Mearian | April 20, 2017
Even so, IT vendors are rolling out blockchain-based capabilities, often in response to high levels of customer interest.

The Ehtereum platform was originally used for verifying online payments, but its capabilities grew under the Swiss nonprofit Ethereum Foundation.

In January, a report from Accenture claimed blockchain technology could reduce infrastructure costs for eight of the world's 10 largest investment banks by an average of 30%, "translating to $8 billion to $12 billion in annual cost savings for those banks."

The savings, according to Accenture, would come in replacing traditionally fragmented database systems that support transaction processing with blockchain's distributed ledger system. That would allow banks to reduce or eliminate reconciliation costs, "while improving data quality."

In February, Accenture, J.P. Morgan Chase and Microsoft were among 30 companies that announced the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, aimed at creating a standard version of the platform for financial transaction processing and tracking.

"Given the tremendous cost of data reconciliation -- which is part of every aspect of the capital markets industry -- it's no surprise that we've seen a significant amount of investment in blockchain technology, David Treat, managing director for Accenture's financial services industry blockchain practice, said a statement. "But, as with any emerging technology, understanding what these investments might yield is a challenge."


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