Thursday, 19 September 2019

Blockchain set for ‘move to board level’

A quarter of institutional investors believe major listed companies will have to start proactively reporting on their plans and ambitions around blockchain due to investor demand.

The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) surveyed 71 institutional investors from around the world over the last two months, finding that 38 per cent anticipate businesses will have to start reporting between three and five years from now, while only 13 per cent think companies will never have to do this.

The research report, presented at the Davos summit this week, suggested that some companies will soon start to have heads of blockchain sitting on their boards, with a quarter of institutional respondents stating this will start to happen between three and five years-time.

The poll also found that 40 per cent believe blockchain could be the most transformative technology since the internet, although a third disagreed with this view, with the remainder undecided.

Sandra Ro, chief executive of the GBBC, said: “Increasingly, the winning organisations of the future will be those that have a clear and comprehensive strategy for blockchain and those that are committed to implementing and using it to transform their organisations.”

Also at Davos, investment company CV VC, in collaboration with PwC Strategy, published its quarterly list of the largest and most important companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s Crypto Valley blockchain cluster.

It showed that, at the end of December 2018, the cluster contained 750 companies using distributed ledger technology (DLT) – growth of 121 companies, or almost 20 per cent, compared to the end of September 2018.

The data comes from CV Maps, an online directory of blockchain companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which is maintained by CV VC.

Mathias Ruch, founder and chief executive of CV VC, said: “The findings show that companies developing blockchain-based applications and infrastructure solutions have been able to keep up, while an impressive number of new startups with innovative use-cases have risen to the top.”

The so-called ‘crypto winter’ market reversal over the last few months has affected the valuation of participating companies, but not their number, according to CV VC. The market capitalisation of the top 50 dropped from $44 billion to $20 billion in the fourth quarter, down 55 per cent, at the same time as most cryptocurrencies worldwide lost value.

The global crypto market, according to Coinmarketcap, was valued at $130 billion the end of 2018, with the Crypto Valley Top 50 accounting for nearly 20 per cent of this market.

Around 420 people work in Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the 50 largest blockchain companies. Overall, the industry employs more than 3,300 people, most of them in the area between Zug and Zurich.

Late last year, the Swiss Blockchain Federation urged national authorities to adopt a binding agenda, so that blockchain companies can get legal certainty.

In September, the Swiss Bankers Association issued guidelines to banks who may want to do business with startups, but fear falling foul of anti-money laundering rules. Only a handful of Switzerland’s 250 banks ever allowed companies to deposit the cash equivalent of cryptocurrencies raised in initial coin offerings (ICOs).


source: fstech.co.uk 
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