The largest chunk of worldwide spending on new blockchain networks – nearly $2.9 billion this year – will come from the financial sector, where banking, securities and investment services, and insurance industries will invest more than $1.1 billion, according to a new IDC report.

The research firm also noted that blockchain implementations are moving quickly beyond the pilot and proof-of-concept phase to real-world production systems.

“The use cases that comprise the blockchain opportunity are developing as swiftly as the technologies enabling it,” said Jessica Goepfert, IDC’s program vice president for customer insights and analysis. “While spending for more developed use cases in the financial sector like trade finance and cross-border payments is still healthy and growing strong, relative to six months ago we’ve seen an acceleration in spending across a variety of other areas, such as energy settlements and warranty claims.”

For example, last fall, Walmart and Sam’s Club, both of whom were piloting a supply chain management system based on blockchain, told their produce suppliers to get on board the distributed ledger network within a year so they can track vegetables from farm to shelf. That deadline: September 2019.

And J.P. Morgan Chase recently announced it plans to launch what is considered to be the first cryptocurrency backed by a major bank, a move that could legitimize blockchain as a vehicle for fiat cryptocurrencies.

J.P. Morgan’s JPM Coin will basically be a way of using a permissioned blockchain ledger to keep track of balance transfers within the bank’s business, and internationally between institutional clients.

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