NOVEMBER 11, 2021
8 min read
A distributed ledger, shared ledger, distributed ledger technology, digital ledger, or virtual ledger — you may come across all these words as variations related to one umbrella term. So, what is a digital ledger? In simple terms, that’s a book of record that serves the perfect data storage and shares it among the different sites, network entities, and geographies. Still not absolutely clear what’s the gist behind the digital ledger definition? Let DashDevs help you draw some associations in your mind!
First of all, a virtual ledger signifies synchronisation. Like in the case of Wikipedia, all the slightest changes in the shared recordings are simultaneously saved and updated within the system. Secondly, speaking about digital ledger technology, we also mean accessibility and automatisation. All participants are witnesses of identical data copies who aren’t engaged in the tiresome paperwork anymore. Instead, they benefit from online record-keeping, which embodies speed and convenience. Thirdly, that’s all about better security. Compared to the centralised ledgers, which are used by the majority of companies, the resort to the virtual ledger guarantees stronger anti-fraud protection and less probability of error. Don’t these characteristics describe the essence of first-class digital-first banking?
But wait for a while! You also need to grasp how a digital ledger is connected to the blockchain. In fact, blockchain is a baby child of the distributed ledger transfer (DLT) that is used by bitcoin to tie all the data blocks into the chronologically ordered chains. They both operate on the similar decentralised principle: it implies no central authority to confirm and authorise transactions. In the banking sphere, this freedom means a lot! Would you like to hear about the perks in more detail? Go on with your reading then!
Advantages of Implementing the Digital Ledger Technology
Well, now that you’re familiar with the concept of the digital ledger, it sounds reasonable to dwell on its advantages, right? Have a look at this concise list as the sparkle for your mobile banking aspirations!
- Transparency of transactions. Because of its decentralized nature, all the peer-to-peer payments stay crystal clear, excluding the opportunity for data manipulation.
- Reduction of resources. As the distributed ledgers bring operational optimisation, it also logically results in shortened time and costs for the completion of transactions.
- Easy audit function. Due to the smooth data flow, the procedure of reviewing the company’s financial statements is simple, which takes the accounting job to a new level.
- Extensive data storage and exchange. The volume and speed of data handling are the other valid arguments in favour of shared ledgers; the same can hardly be obtained with the centralised counterparts.
- Perfect validation process. DLT applications bridge the gap between users (ones interested in transactions) and validators (ones who read the ledger and work on algorithmic updates) by means of integration.
- Anti-fraud potential. A digital ledger is protected from malicious changes by a single party and attacks from the inside, which is granted thanks to cryptographic keys and signatures.
- More personalised customer service. Considering the fact that 1.7bn of adults are still underbanked globally, DLT can bring cheaper, more scalable, and higher personalised digital solutions to advance the financial inclusion rate.
And now the logical question on your side should be — in what ways can I benefit from these amazing properties of the shared ledger in digital banking services? DashDevs have got the answer for this riddle too, so hurry up to get to know right below!
The Most Frequent Use Cases of Blockchain in Digital Banking
According to the experts' prognosis, the size of the global blockchain-based market is expected to show a skyrocketing boost from 1.2% in 2018 to 39.7% by 2025. Within it, in 2020, the share of online banking services confidently reached a 30% scale. Q1 2021 is also known for the bright flash of blockchain startups pouring $2.6bn into the industry and breaking the whole previous year record. No wonder why the digital banking companies continue the massive investment into the DLT: the estimated sum is $6.6bn till the end of 2021. Are you eager to grab the initiative and revolutionise your online banking product as well? Then look at how exactly DLT can turn into your leverage for a big change!
You’ve already read about the facilitation of transactions before, and now it’s time to draw a parallel with global payments. In particular, the adoption of DLT positively affects the duration of cross-border payments and ensures easier internal funds transfers. What’s more, blockchain untangles the verification knot: as there’s no need for bank mediators and all procedures occur in real-time, both sending and receiving of payments become easy as a pie thing. The improved safety of payments and support of cryptocurrency must also be mentioned in this conversation. No surprise why Bitcoin transactions get more power each day by beating the 2014 year’s result 6 times — more than 300,000 paying operations are registered daily as of February 2021. All this explains why more B2B companies welcome blockchain technology with open arms. Look at BitPesa or BitPay to awake your inspiration!
In the majority of cases, bureaucracy is an impenetrable wall that slows down business processes and appears a handful in lending as well. As a rule, it takes way too long for banks and lending institutions to cope with the underwritten loan reporting and their further check-up on the part of the assigned credit agency. Gonna forget how this nasty course of events feels? Move on with digital lending! Read about Dharma Labs story with blockchain lending if you need a practical example! With the DLT support, the whole procedure becomes less dependent on the intermediaries, more automated, and tangibly quicker. Besides, thanks to DLT, many banking providers can now offer the option of syndicated lending, which also suggests efficiency, smart contracts, and safety. Is there anything else to dream of?
Whatever banking service you’re going to present to your target audience, they’d probably start the acquaintance with your software product through identity verification. To prevent the cons' access to the platform, users will be subject to the chosen path of the account check routine. And though it already doesn’t astonish anyone, it still leaves room for irritation and opposition from newbies' side. But what if you’re fighting for both — customers' security and customers' interest rate? Actually, a distributed ledger possesses the solution for it! Based on the principle of mutualisation, the DLT confidently tackles the KYC and AML challenges through secure real-time data sharing within the parties and users' facilitated access to the necessary services. Civic Identity Wallet and Evernym are among the pioneers of this approach, but this isn’t the end of the story.
Trade finance is another favourable setting for streamlining the processes, but this time it crosses the bridge between buyers and sellers all over the world. Is the DLT even more powerful than you’ve imagined before? Just imagine cutting the tons of time for fulfilling the papers and waiting for confirmation from all parties! Think also about enhanced supply chain visibility and reduced costs. Are you already motivated to follow the track of Skuchain, We.trade, or MineHub? Then don’t hesitate to learn Macro Polo’s knowledge sharing to get the basics of blockchain-based trade finance from the mature industry expert!
The statistics confirm that 60% of all cross-border transaction requests call for manual intervention, while the average duration of each demands 15-20 min. Isn’t that a clear sign for the desired automatisation? Definitely! And distributed ledger technology takes care of it by referring to SWIFT protocols and direct settlement. At the same time, owing to the blockchain functionality, the involved parties of the exchange deal are familiar with the state of things on an interrupted basis — all transactions are transparent and easy to observe. In other words, no custodial or banking services are necessary on the way, so exchange transactions can occur specifically on a public blockchain. Learn a lot from Ripple and R3!
If you ever thought about investing in cryptocurrency, the concept of the initial coin offering (ICO) should ring a bell to you. Meanwhile, though the door to this business is wide open to all due to the absent or scarce governance over ICOs, this capital-raising strategy is extremely risky and scam-flooded. Still, with the proper research and blockchain reliance, you can coax the profit out. Seeking proof? Recollect the prominent case of EOS, a blockchain development provider that is still remembered for its $4bn big payday. Or turn your eyes to Telegram, which, for the record, is also built on decentralised protocols and has already made a $1.7bn fortune on ICO. Is moving to the blockchain vividly profitable after that short intro? Time to action!
7.Banking Security Services
This functional power of blockchain consists of two facets — cutting costs for KYC and raising the bid of security in fraud prevention. As for the KYC, the digital ledger with its decentralised data storage allows spending less effort on filtering your customers through the identity check sieve, which normally costs a lot of money for banking institutions — up to $500m per annum. As blockchain technology optimises this process considerably, the personnel shortage for banks can reach up to 10%, which can be amazingly equal to saving up to $160m a year. Can you believe that? Take your cue from Deutsche Bank, HSBC, or Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group! Together with IBM, they’ve tested this approach already in 2018. And if turning back to fraud prevention, blockchain serves as a safe shelter against data infringements, human errors, and third parties abuse — isn’t that a digital heaven?
The DashDevs team is convinced that each of these usage scenarios constitutes a solid reason to feel positive about the distributed ledgers in banking. Meanwhile, in addition to these incredible opportunities, it’d be just to name a few obstacles that can pop out in practice. Get ready for truth!
The Biggest Stumbling Blocks in Using DLT in Banking Products
Any road is full of bumps when you start it for the first time in your life, right? The same goes for digital ledger implementation in banking. Though it sounds extremely lucrative and beneficial in many ways, as a business owner, you need to keep alert and be ready to face possible challenges. Among the most widespread, let’s name the following:
- Legal uncertainty. As there’s still no prescribed and well-documented jurisdiction concerning the DLT transactions and data handling, the bundle of different questions towards your ownership may appear from time to time.
- Predisposition for manipulation. Despite all the claims about the blockchain security bar, the absence of regulation may cause power abuse if being located in the hands of bad actors.
- Integration difficulty. If one considers this issue from the banking perspective, it’ll become evident that the high-tech DLT collision with the outdated existing systems feels rather problematic.
So, Is Digital Ledger Technology Worth It?
Listen, it’s not so bad either, but you need to have got the full picture before making your digital ledger business decision. Moreover, you’ll be supposed to work in tight collaboration with the other network members so as to guarantee the common positive result in the end. Be sincere with yourself — are you truly ready for that? Or need more instruction? If so, drop a line to the DashDevs Company, and we’ll lay it out for you! We’ll see together whether your fintech product needs the DLT or maybe you’d better go on like it is!