Market Update

Hyper real: An overview of global blockchain industry trends

Hyper real: Blockchain

Since Invesco and the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) collaborated more than 18 months ago, the blockchain industry and ecosystem have evolved at a remarkable pace, with cryptoassets garnering much attention.

But there’s more to blockchain than cryptos—blockchain has the power to transform the management of digital records and assets.

Our new whitepaper, written with CCAF experts Keith Bear and Michel Rauchs, provides a broad overview of recent industry developments and key trends that continue to shape blockchain’s long-term trajectory.

Whitepaper key points

Blockchain networks
  • Organisations have begun commercialising enterprise blockchain networks across multiple sectors such as insurance, banking, trade financing and shipping, and in many cases have now achieved scale.
  • A number of new permissionless blockchain networks have recently launched to address enterprise applications, and there is increasing cross-over between permissionless and permissioned tracks.
Digital assets
  • While most of the popular focus is on cryptoassets, other blockchain assets are growing, including digital fiat currencies, digital tokens that are modernising capital markets, and broader asset tokenisation of existing physical assets.
  • The market infrastructure around digital assets is increasingly fit for institutional purpose. 
Applications, services and supporting infrastructure
  • What has been a retail-driven market is becoming more institutional, as unicorn start-ups, brokerages, custodians, institutional trading platforms and global banks build a range of digital asset products and services.
  • Decentralised and enterprise blockchain applications are also on the rise, supported by the growth of extensive software libraries and developer tooling.

Collaboration with Cambridge

As a leading independent, global asset manager, we place great importance on driving thought leadership. From 2019, we have been committed to supporting fundamental research activities in long term asset management, alternative finance, and data analytics at Cambridge Judge Business School. The University of Cambridge’s reputation for research excellence is world-renown.

We hope the knowledge and ideas that have been fostered through this collaboration are of value to our clients and are pleased to share our latest research

Did you know?

  • Over 50% of the world’s total container traffic has been committed to run on blockchain.  
  • Stablecoins, digital fiat currencies on permissionless blockchains, have evolved into a new way to move money, generating more than $1.2 trillion in transactional volume since 20171. 2021 should see both the appearance of Facebook’s Diem stablecoin, as well as continued roll-out of Digital Yuan in Shenzen and 3 other cities in China.


  • 1 As at 30 November 2020.

Investment risks

  • The value of investments and any income will fluctuate (this may partly be the result of exchange rate fluctuations) and investors may not get back the full amount invested.

Important information

  • All data is as at 15 January 2021 unless otherwise stated.

    This document is marketing material and is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class, security or strategy. Regulatory requirements that require impartiality of investment/investment strategy recommendations are therefore not applicable nor are any prohibitions to trade before publication. The information provided is for illustrative purposes only, it should not be relied upon as recommendations to buy or sell securities.

    Where individuals or the business have expressed opinions, they are based on current market conditions, they may differ from those of other investment professionals, they are subject to change without notice and are not to be construed as investment advice.