Interest in blockchain soars

April 19, 2018

Written by Harvest Portfolios Group

With blockchain technology set to transform the way transactions are conducted and recorded globally, a wide range of companies are seeking to tap its game-changing potential.

The attractiveness of blockchain stems from its potential to lower processing costs in a more efficient and secure environment that is tamper proof. Effectively, the decentralized nature of the technology makes it more secure than all repositories under the control of any single entity. Blockchain can be used to perform a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from cross-border payments, equities trading, securities settlements, e-commerce, and record-keeping, documentation, and registration activities in a wide range of industries.

While the technology which underpins the development of bitcoin is still in its early stage of adoption, it has garnered increasing interest from several large global corporations such as Intel Corporation, IBM Corporation, Mastercard Incorporated, Microsoft Corporation, Google, Oracle Corporation, SAP SE, Accenture PLC, as well as a diverse range of smaller technology companies which see it as the future of transaction processing and recordkeeping. In fact, it is anticipated that blockchain technology will become mainstream by 2025.

Some of the companies that have commenced using or are engaged in pilot projects using blockchain technology include:

  • Visa Corp is developing blockchain architecture whereby financial institutions around the world will enable individuals and corporations to transact instantaneously at a very efficient cost.
  • JPMorgan Chase has launched a new interbank payments platform based on a private blockchain for Ethereum, a form of cryptocurrency.
  • Walmart and Pfizer have completed successful blockchain pilots in food safety and medicine tracking.
  • UBS and Barclays are both experimenting with blockchain as a means of expediting back-office functions, while the Australian Stock Exchange has commenced replacing its back office with a blockchain system.
  • RippleNet, currently the world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments has dozens of clients, including large financial institutions.
  • Nasdaq has partnered with Chain, a bitcoin infrastructure firm, for a pilot program to test the use of blockchain for trading shares of private companies.
  • The small cap retail firm Overstock, which sells household items on the internet, is planning to use blockchain technology.
  • Spotify acquired start-up Mediachain Labs last year to use blockchain technology for music copyright-attribution protocols.

Eastman Kodak is seeking to develop publicly accessible repositories for stock photographs and their copyrights.

An 80-plus member consortium of banks, regulators and technology partners — led by blockchain tech start-up R3 CEV — are developing a blockchain-platform operating system.

Though still evolving, blockchain technology is positioned to transform or disrupt a range of different operations and industries.

The Harvest Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX:HBLK), Canada’s first blockchain ETF is positioned to capture the long-term growth of blockchain technologies by replicating the performance of the Harvest Blockchain Technologies Index. The portfolio has 21 positions, including smaller players such as Overstock.com, HIVE Blockchain Technologies and Glance Technologies, as well as more recognizable names such as MasterCard, Visa, Oracle and Microsoft.

To learn more about the Blockchain Technologies ETF

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