Global Research Chair at JPMorgan Securities: Blockchain Has Many Challenges to Face Before Cross-Industry Adoption

    In the short time that blockchain technology, it has made many impressive strides in multiple industries. However, this progress is not enough to prepare it for the cross-industry adoption that many investors are striving for, according to Joyce Chang. Chang, the global research chair of JPMorgan Securities recently made comments that there are other hurdles to overcome first, according to an interview with

    “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.”

    The interview, which took place on February 7th, allowed Chang to express that there is no blockchain institutionalization yet, but it is being pushed to new heights with industries that can allow it to thrive. Legacy paperwork systems have become more streamlined with blockchain technology, especially in trade finance, and the current rate of growth could result in a major impact in the next three to five years.

    Information sharing is another major area that blockchain has been and continues to be applied, Chang noted, as she referenced the blockchain-based interbank data network that JPMorgan has implemented. It already counts 137 participant banks, though Chang added,

    “We’ve moved beyond experimentation, it’s still in use case form, but we are seeing more adoption of the technology. Spain is ahead. The Australia Stock Exchange as well.”

    Still, Chang was clear about the challenges that blockchain will need to overcome before offering changes throughout all industries. She said,

    “How do you get to scale when the very nature of [the technology] is supposed to be decentralized? That’s the catch-22 about blockchain. I think they are still working through regulatory issues, also related to data privacy and security.”

    Considering the amount of work involved with fixing these problems, Chang commented that the big issue is that blockchain is being applied to particular use cases. Furthermore, there are multiple industries that are anything but easy to break into, considering that the automation of data from end to end is still a feature that many companies in supply chain and logistics are apprehensive about taking on.

    Blockchain’s use in the digitization of documents and automating process with trade finance has been more widely accepted lately, Chang noted. By January this year, the Singapore sector of Standard Chartered officially signed a blockchain technology deal to implement into their trade finance services. StanChart, HSBC, and NBP Paribas are three of about a dozen banks that collaborated for the eTrade Connect finance platform, which has also built upon blockchain.

    Chang previously expressed a sense of skepticism about blockchain technology, saying that it is unlikely

    “to reinvent [the] system, but [rather to] provide marginal improvements.”

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