The "Blockchain phenomenon" is getting a great deal of attention from the financial world at a global level, even if there is still uncertainty regarding application environments and impacts. The strong attention to the topic can be explained by the beguiling promise of benefits that could be delivered by the Blockchain: from cost savings to streamlined processes, from maximised security to new sources of revenue. It is, however, important to highlight that there is still confusion regarding fields of application in which it can be actually used (p2p transactions, international transactions, trade finance, etc.) and uncertainty about the scale of potential benefits compared to investments and costs: as of today, in fact, the number of success stories is still limited. To be able to define fields of application and benefits it is necessary to identify the Blockchain’s key characteristics in order to understand which variables mostly influence technology application opportunities. It is also useful to understand the different types of Blockchain, since by varying access and control characteristics a Blockchain can adopt different configurations. In particular, the different configurations are called Permissioned or Private, Hybrid, Permissionless, Public or Open.
- What does the term Blockchain mean?
- What are the Blockchain’s distinctive characteristics?
- Is there a single type of Blockchain?
- What is the relationship between Blockchain and Bitcoin?
- What are Italian banks doing as regards the Blockchain?
- What are startups in Italy and Worldwide doing? What services do they offer?
- KEY QUESTIONS
- Executive Summary
Methodology notesFintech and Digital Finance ObservatoryWork teamResearch supportersSchool of Management
- Some definitions of Blockchain
- Blockchain distinctive characteristics
- Blockchain types
- The approach to blockchain of Italian financial institutes
- The approach to Blockchain of international startups