There is no doubt that blockchain solutions offer better options in certain use cases.
In the Everledger example the technology enables the players to ensure the provenance of diamonds from the mines to the users and protect against blood, lost or stolen diamonds. IGF is using blockchain to address disputes in the financing arm of the company and free tied up capital.
Big Blue's finance arm sees about 25,000 disputes a year amongst its 4,000 business partners, tying up around $100 million at any given time.
Because the blockchain technology provides end-to-end order-to-cash visibility, it has enabled the resolution time to be cut by up to 75 percent – from 40 days to 10 days.
A recent Accenture report contends blockchain technology could save the 10 largest banks $8 to $12 billion a year in infrastructure costs — or 30 percent of their total associated costs. The report projects finance reporting costs could shrink by 70 percent, compliance costs by 30 to 50 percent and operational costs by 50 percent.
The chart below has the top 25 blockchain use cases according to a 2016 Moody's report that evaluated a list of 120 potential blockchain use cases being explored by various companies.
Selected Potential Blockchain Use Cases
While some of these use cases do not require private networks and permissioned users, most enterprises will want to use the stronger, closed environments offered by the Apache Hyperledger project or the EEA standard Ethereum version.
2017 will see a number of the blockchain forks, offerings and startups fade away as users consolidate upon a few different platform types. RFG expects 2017 to be primarily a pilot year while the options mature and companies determine what transactions are best suited for blockchain databases and solutions.
Small business owners and IT executives working with the lines of business, auditors, compliance, and legal teams along with external transactional stakeholders must understand the application requirements, including the risk and compliance exposures, before selecting a blockchain solution.
Business owners and executives should also do a proof of concept to ensure the implementation approach satisfies the availability, compliance, cost, functionality, governance, performance and risk parameters before committing to blockchain in a production environment.
About the author
Mr. Braunstein serves as Chairman/CEO and Executive Director of Research at the Robert Frances Group (RFG). In addition to his corporate role, he helps his clients wrestle with a range of business, management, regulatory, and technology issues.
He has deep and broad experience in business strategy management, business process management, enterprise systems architecture, financing, mission-critical systems, project and portfolio management, procurement, risk management, sustainability, and vendor management. Cal also chaired a Business Operational Risk Council whose membership consisted of a number of top global financial institutions.