Survey Shows Asset Owners, Managers Unprepared for Blockchain Despite Positive Views

New research carried out earlier this year by State Street Corporation, conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics, on blockchain technology, has found that over half of the 100 asset owners and asset managers asked expect it to be widely adopted in the investment industry in the next five years; however, a mere seven percent currently have initiatives underway to support it.

Within the survey, 74 percent of the asset owners were confident that blockchain technology will achieve the scale needed for adoption, with asset managers more sceptical at 42 percent believing this. Regardless, the survey found that many owners and managers admitted to having a significant lack of knowledge in the area, possibly leading to the low uptake of the technology in this instance.

Antoine Shagoury, global chief information officer at State Street, commented: “A majority of institutional investors are well aware that blockchain, an ‘emerging technology,’ could become an everyday application in the near future. What’s clear from our research is a lack of readiness and uncertainty for how to best plan for this disruption, and a need for more education.”

Other findings of the survey included a majority in agree that blockchain will have the greatest impact on IT departments, showing an awareness of the need to update technical expertise, with a large number of participants recognising that the adoption of blockchain will disrupt their jobs on investments teams.

The biggest area of concern noted in the results is the security risks in implementing blockchain technology and its ability to protect information both now and in the future. Perhaps due to these security concerns, just over half of asset owners and asset managers are convinced that blockchain is most likely to be used privately by companies with their clients. Only 13% believe blockchain will be used broadly by the public.

Hu Liang, senior managing director and head of State Street’s Emerging Technologies Center, stated: “We’re excited by the opportunity blockchain presents and are working to make it a tangible reality for our businesses, partners and clients. We are actively supporting several blockchain and blockchain-inspired initiatives both internally and as part of a handful of consortia of the world’s biggest banks and technology companies.”