Leading PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive Seamus Cushley says $1.4 billion has been invested in blockchain startups so far this year. Cushley, director of fintech and digital at EMEA, will discuss blockchain’s evolution on November 8 at PwC’s Business Forum in Dublin.
Blockchain Is Becoming Popular Amongst All Sectors Within The Economy
According to a discussion with SiliconRepublic Cushley, the head of PwC’s blockchain lab in Belfast, says the blockchain phenomenon is growing. Distributed ledger prototypes and startups have created a wide range of applications that cover finance, healthcare, clearinghouse settlement, supply chain monitoring and more. Cushley will also discuss blockchain’s risks and benefits at the Business Forum event.
“Right now, organizations are studying how blockchain ledgers can be used to securely manage exchanges in everything from medical records, land registry holdings, digital identity and governments to even the sale of diamonds,” Cushley stated. “But when it comes to actual production, nothing at scale has happened yet as the banks are still investigating how they can best employ the technology.”
$1.4 Billion in Blockchain Investments Over Nine Months
Cushley explained banks will most likely use blockchain in the future. He says currently, people are on a journey of “fringe experimentation” with blockchain tech. Legacy institutions will shift from fear to respecting the experiment and some incumbents are in “the latter phase of that journey.”
There has been $1.4bn in blockchain investments in the last nine months which will give you a sense of the investment by mainstay brands.
“The challenge now is when, and not if, these technologies will start to take effect,” said the PwC executive. “But when blockchain comes to pass, the average man or woman on the street won’t know they are even using it.”
There have definitely been many investments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. This year’s notable funding rounds included Unocoin’s recent $1.5ml injection, Ripple Labs collecting $55ml, Circle Financial pulling in $60ml from Chinese investors, and more. Participating companies injecting large sums of funds into these startups include Wanxiang Holdings, Fenbushi Capital, Boost VC, the Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, Blockchain Capital, plus several more venture capitalists and legacy institutions.
PwC’s Own Blockchain Experimentation
According to Cushley’s statements to SiliconRepublic, PwC has been working on ten proof of concepts. The London-headquartered multinational financial management network is also focused on blockchain solutions. Cushley explained the Bank of England tested one such prototype for digital asset assurance.
PwC also has its own investments in the blockchain space, plus a strategic partnership with Blockstream. Back in January Haskell S. Garfinkel, PWC’s fintech co-leader, said “For our clients, understanding new world applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, adapting it to myriad uses, and using it optimally are critical to improving financial security, efficiency, and compliance.”
The past nine months has seen a stream of funds targeting blockchain innovation. PwC is following this phenomenon as well as participating in its promotion. With $1.4 billion being funneled into digital currency and blockchain applications worldwide, the future looks promising.
What do you think about the $1.4 billion in blockchain-related investments this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and PwC websites.
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