Investment in the blockchain industry is booming in the U.S., according to "Big Four" auditing firm KPMG.
Published Tuesday, the company's "Pulse of Fintech 2018" report states that traditional venture capital investments in U.S.-based blockchain companies in the first half of this year have already exceeded the total for 2017, though it did not specify numbers.
The impressive half-yearly figure was led by $100 million-plus funding rounds achieved by consortium startup R3 and crypto investment startup Circle Internet Finance, the report adds. According to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Venture Capital Tracker, Circle raised $110 million this year in a Series E round, while R3 raised $107 million.
KPMG U.S.'s Financial Services Digital and Fintech Lead Safwan Zaheer said in the report that "there's more VC flow available than opportunities to invest — a sign of tremendous growth in the space."
"In particular, investments in blockchain doubled the first half of 2018 compared to 2017. Blockchain has the potential to transform banking and if banking systems were to be rewritten today they would be based on blockchain."
The spike in blockchain investment can this year is attributed in the report to various factors, including the "widespread applicability of blockchain to help harness efficiencies within financial institutions."
The report states:
"Blockchain's capabilities extend from recordkeeping and the registration of transactions to documentation management and supply chain management. While it has primarily been looked at from a banking and insurance point of view to date, the reality is blockchain opportunities abound and could enhance processes for any number of US and global businesses."
KPMG concluded that it expects that blockchain – alongside so-called regtech and insurtech – will only gain momentum going forward.
As well as compiling research data on blockchain, KPMG has also been putting its money where its mouth is on the tech.
The Netherlands-based giant recently joined a trial project alongside the three other major auditors and 20 banks in Taiwan to trial a blockchain service for auditing public companies' financial reports.
The company has previously told CoinDesk that blockchain could be an "antidote" to the high cost of regulation.
KPMG building image via Shutterstock