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Blockchain impact on payments, capital markets, financial services and media

Friday 5 August 2016 | 09:48 AM CET

Credit Suisse has released a new report that explores blockchain impact on payments, capital markets, financial services and media. 

The research analyses the impact of blockchain on 14 existing market participants and their stock performance and underlines that the technology offers long-term opportunities in four areas mentioned above.

Payments, an industry that includes merchant acquirers, card issuers and financial payments processors, is a well-established industry that bitcoin and blockchain could potentially transform, according to the report. Though, it is unlikely that bitcoin will gain traction as a mainstream payments network, or that blockchain will disintermediate the globally trusted brands of the card networks such as Visa and MasterCard

Regarding capital markets, the report evaluated specifically how custodians, exchanges and registrars would be affected by blockchains, concluding they could offer a new approach to data management. The end result is that the way capital markets are constructed could change, but they would be more resilient and less costly.

Also, the use of a distributed ledger, or multiple distributed ledgers, could impact banking and financial services. A shared ledger reduces costs by processing securities trades and facilitating international payments. In the other, share ledgers result in more data on clients, boosting the ability of firms to sell to consumers.

The report also explores how blockchain could disintermediate non-financial companies. It focuses on media use cases, including music, TV, pay TV, digital video and publishing, arguing that the tech could come to reduce piracy.

The report also sketches out 13 barriers to bitcoin, questioning the digital currency’s ability to scale to Visa-level transactions and noting its current slow transaction processing times. 

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