Blockchain technology and its impact on financial and shipping services
Introduction. Blockchain technology is becoming one of the main drivers of innovation in the global economy. Its adoption will have a huge impact on how businesses and governments operate and on the way people organize their everyday lives. Financial services industry is the one experiencing the biggest impact of the blockchain disruption so far, while financial institutions are among the first adopters of the technology. At the same time, being a relatively traditional industry, shipping has not yet seen many use cases with blockchain, but the technology is able to change this industry dramatically.
Aim and tasks. As the industries of finance and shipping have huge potential in the blockchain space and often interact, determining how the blockchain technology adoption can influence the industries of finance and shipping in the future was the main purpose of this article.
Research results. To fulfill this purpose, it was important to describe the origins of the blockchain technology, its main characteristics, functioning principles and consensus algorithms. Supported by the recent hype, cryptocurrencies are the biggest use case for blockchain so far, therefore, the article analyzes the largest of them, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and some others, as well as the cryptocurrency market as a whole. The level of worldwide adoption of blockchain and the overall market size are defined further in the article. Various applications in finance are also mentioned, paying particular attention to the insurance industry. Based on this information, the key areas in which blockchain can disrupt finance and insurance are identified. As the number of blockchain companies increases rapidly, the two main fundraising channels for such companies, venture capital and initial coin offering, are analyzed and compared. The ways in which blockchain may impact the shipping services industry are identified further.
Conclusion. Afterwards, the article describes a number of blockchain consortia formed by public institutions and private entities to research and test possible applications of the technology across various industries and countries. While the potential of blockchain is still largely undiscovered, all the gathered information and performed research help to make a conclusion that the blockchain technology will have a big impact on many different industries, including financial and shipping services. The coming years will definitely see an exponentially growing interest in blockchain in academic and business fields, as the technology becomes more and more mainstream.
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