The benefits of blockchain technology can benefit all businesses, but the most immediate and largest gains will be reaped by the financial services sector, said Blythe Masters, chief executive of Digital Asset Holdings.
The financial services industry stands to reap the largest rewards from implementing blockchain technology because it has under-invested in back-office systems in recent years. Post-trade processing often relies on antiquated programming and technology, Ms. Masters said.
Blockchain or distributed ledger technology can transform these back-office functions in the financial services industry, Ms. Masters said.
"Any multi-party process where shared information is necessary to the completion of transactions and the coordination of activity and the exchange of value that's where blockchain technology can be put to good use," Ms. Masters told attendees of The Wall Street Journal's CFO Network in Washington DC
"It's one of the great opportunities, I think, in the financial services sector," Ms. Masters said. "We're talking about billions of dollars in annual savings for the banking industry."
But companies well beyond the scope of financial services also will benefit from this new technology, Ms. Masters said.
Blockchain can help companies in all industries manage the movement of money in exchange for goods and services across multiple different parties in a secure, timely and coordinated way. Instituting a centralized, encrypted repository for such information can help companies make complicated transactions more efficiently, she explained.
At the same time, blockchain allows companies to control who has access to which information, as well as keep these exchanges secure and protected.
"The tools of encryption which is all about security and protecting identity, protecting access to information are very vital parts of this infrastructure," Ms. Masters said.