Blockchain Consortia – A Collaborative Disruption led by Tech & FinServ

Of all the tech marvels out there which are changing FinServ and other industries, Blockchain has always been one of a kind – it thrives on collaboration. It is an ecosystem-level technology which promises huge cost/operational efficiencies when working in an interconnected ecosystem. In the last few years, while the buzz around cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and now STOs has grown, there has been another major theme around the global business community pertaining to blockchain – the emergence of Blockchain consortia.

As of this date, there are more than 60 blockchain consortia – as per Gartner’s Blockchain toolkit – which are leading blockchain development and deployment initiatives across several industries around the world. Some notable examples:

  • R3CEV, a distributed database technology company leading a consortium of more than 80 FIs in blockchain R&D.

  • Hyperledger, an umbrella project of open-source blockchain and related tools, founded by the Linux Foundation. It is focused on global business transactions including major technological, financial, and supply chain companies.

  • Digital Asset Holding, a software company that develops and builds distributed ledger technology solutions for the financial services industry.

  • B3i, an insurance industry-specific blockchain consortium, led by five large global insurers and reinsurers.

MEDICI conducted an analysis of 40 of these 60+ consortia to understand the activities happening in this space. More than 47% of these consortia were led by FinServ incumbents – banks, credit unions, FIs, insurers, etc. This is a major insight as it highlights financial services as the biggest disruption area for blockchain. Some of these consortia being led by FinServ incumbents are – B3i, Digital Trade Chain, CULedger, Project Jasper, Shenzhen consortium, etc.

Technology companies were neck-to-neck with FinServ incumbents as almost 40% of these consortia were led by them. Apart from the fact that those who develop the blockchain network are well placed to lead the efforts in ensuring its adaptability, tech companies leading blockchain consortia promises a good tech industry collaborative potential of blockchain where superior development and infrastructural capability, along with the right talent, drives the innovation through complex use cases.

Interestingly, more than 40% of these consortia have already developed an offering in the form of a product or framework. Also, the intensity of activity in this space seems to have gone up heavily post-2016 as 34 of these 40 consortia have been founded after 2016.