Blockchain in banking – key opportunities and challenges

  • Blockchain, initially the foundation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, emerged in 2008 amid the Global Economic Recession 2007-09. Since then, it has transcended its original intent, offering transformative potential in finance.
  • Banks are transitioning from traditional banking to blockchain-driven models, attracted by blockchain’s core features of immutability, accuracy, consensus, trust, and transparency. This shift promises enhanced security, accessibility, efficiency, and innovation in banking.
  • A sign of the growing use of blockchain in banking can be evaluated by discovering that the worldwide market of technology is poised to grow from $7.4 billion in 2022 to $94.0 billion by 2027, increasing at a CAGR of 66.2%.

The inception of blockchain in 2008 marked the beginning of a digital revolution, initially powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Since then, it has expanded beyond its original scope, offering transformative potential in finance. This blog will explore the driving forces behind blockchain’s adoption in the global BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) market. We’ll discuss its necessities, advantages in banking, addressing the systemic issues in the current banking system that necessitate the adoption of blockchain financial services.

Also read: How do AI and blockchain work together?

Why is it essential to implement Blockchain in banking?

Before diving into its application in banking, let’s briefly understand what blockchain The banking sector, crucial for various economic activities like lending and payment processing, is struggling to adapt to the rapid digital evolution. Despite advancements, many processes remain paper-based, posing security risks and inefficiencies. To combat these challenges and fend off cyber threats, banks need robust solutions to track credit history and ensure regulatory compliance. Faced with stiff competition from agile FinTech firms, banks must strike a balance between tradition and transformation. Blockchain applications offer a solution, modernising operations while maintaining trust and transparency. 

Also read: What is the difference between fintech and blockchain?

Different use cases of blockchain in banking

1. Settlement and clearance systems

An average bank transfer takes up to 3 days to settle a transaction. This is not just problematic for the consumers but also logistically difficult for the banks. A simple bank transfer today bypasses a complex system of intermediaries from bank to custodial service before reaching the recipient. This is where blockchain applications in banking come into the picture.

Blockchain acts as a decentralised ledger that keeps track of the transactions transparently and publicly. This means that instead of relying on custodial services, transactions can be settled in the public blockchain. This is one of the key benefits of blockchain in banking, making transactions speedy and simplified.

2. Cross-border payment transfer

Blockchain in banking and finance streamlines cross-border transactions, slashing fees and settlement times from days to minutes. Presently, excessive fees and delays cost trillions of dollars. Cryptocurrencies like Ether and Bitcoin, built on public blockchains, offer a solution. Transactions are swift, feeless, and decentralised, eliminating the need for verification and reducing costs. Ripple provides a blockchain-based alternative for real-time cross-border payments, circumventing traditional networks likeSWIFT(Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).

3. Fraud prevention and security

In traditional banking, managing ownership of assets like debt, stocks, or commodities involves connecting with various parties such as exchanges, brokers, and custodian banks. This outdated process is slow, prone to inaccuracies, fraud, and data breaches, and vulnerable to technical glitches and cyberattacks. Blockchain applications offer a solution by streamlining this process into a single ledger system, reducing errors and enhancing security. Smart contracts enable banks to swiftly detect and prevent fraud and cyber theft.

4. Asset tokenisation

Blockchain applications in banking enable the tokenisation of assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds, allowing fractional ownership and easier transferability. Banks can issue tokenised assets on blockchain platforms, facilitating faster settlement and enhancing liquidity in financial markets. Through a distributed ledger, it becomes easier to transfer assets through tokens that represent them “off-chain.”


Aria Jiang

Aria Jiang, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure. She graduated from Ningbo Tech University. Send tips to

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