The financial services industry spent a combined $1.7bn (£1.3bn) on blockchain technology in 2017, according to research by management consultancy firm Greenwich Associates.
The dizzying figure demonstrates how large banks and other financial institutions are now moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage to seriously advance on distributed ledger technologies (DLT).
According to the research, average spend on DLT products increased by 67% per organisation last year, with one in 10 of these groups reporting to have spent in excess of $10 million.
The same research found that the average number of employees working on blockchain initiatives doubled last year, with top-tier banks cited as having approximately 18 staff allocated to blockchain development.
Of the executives taking part in interviews for the study, over half reported that implementing DLT was harder than expected, while at the same time, over three-quarters were confident that projects in current development would go live within two years.
In contrast to the findings, earlier this week the Dutch Central Bank announced that it would be stalling plans for blockchain development following a three-year trial, citing the technology as “unready” to meet the demands of the country’s financial infrastructure.