Thursday, October 11, 2018 Stamford, CT USA — With more than half the experts participating in a new Greenwich Associates study reporting that creating commercial applications for blockchain in financial markets has been harder than expected, the question is: Why have the tech and financial industries lagged their own blockchain expectations?

A new report from Greenwich Associates identifies the key technical challenges that the industry must overcome to unleash blockchain technology in financial markets. The report analyses the list of top challenges, including scalability, hardware security, transaction confidentiality, the payments leg, and the uptake of ‘editable blockchains’.


Forty-two percent of executives working on blockchain technology in financial markets cite scalability as a top concern for firms implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions. “It’s important to note that a few firms have achieved much faster transaction speeds with DLT solutions—showing that competitive speeds are possible,” says Richard Johnson, Vice President of Greenwich Associates Market Structure and Technology and author of Building Blockchains.

“Fedcoin” for Payments

Every blockchain project looking to build a new market structure for any asset will need to figure out how to handle the payments. Arguably, the most robust solution would be a central-bank-backed digital currency— CBDC. CBDC do not currently exist but 14% of companies told us they were working with central banks for a solution.

Transparency, Privacy and ZKP

Although the transparency provided by blockchain may be appropriate for cryptocurrencies and other applications, it is a less desirable feature for enterprise blockchain. For this reason, almost two-thirds of executives believe that incorporating zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP), or similar technology, are an important part of an enterprise DLT solution.

“ZKP are a recent innovation,” says Richard Johnson. “They require an additional layer of cryptography in the consensus protocol that allows one party to prove to another that something is true without revealing any other information.”