Two new IBM studies conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) show that commercial blockchain solutions are rapidly being adopted throughout banking and financial markets, dramatically faster than initially expected.

The studies are: “Leading the Pack in Blockchain Banking: Trailblazers Set the Pace,” which is based on a survey of 200 global banks, and the second one, “Blockchain Rewires Financial Markets: Trailblazers Take the Lead,” is based on a survey of 200 global financial markets institutions, said IBM.

Fifteen percent of banks and 14 percent of financial market institutions interviewed by IBM intend to implement full-scale, commercial blockchain solutions in 2017. Mass adoption isn’t that far behind with roughly 65 percent of banks expecting to have blockchain solutions in production in the next three years.

The banking study revealed that more than 70 percent of trailblazers surveyed, or early adopters, are prioritizing blockchain efforts in order to break down current barriers to creating new business models and reaching new markets.

“There are many advantages to being an early adopter of blockchain technology,” said Likhit Wagle, Global Industry General Manager, IBM Banking and Financial Markets. “To start, first movers are setting business standards and creating new models that will be used by future adopters of blockchain technology. We’re also finding that these early adopters are better able to anticipate disruption, fighting off new competitors along the way.”

Banking trailblazers view blockchains as a means to create new business models and access new markets, yet, outside of early adopters, banks feel there are many barriers to success when adopting blockchain, said IBM.

According to those surveyed, the top barriers to success include regulatory constraints (56 percent), immature technology (54 percent) and lack of clear return on investment (52 percent).

IBM is rapidly expanding its blockchain consulting services and capabilities. Through its open source contributions to the Hyperledger Fabric and its blockchain services on IBM Bluemix, developers can develop applications easier than anticipated while testing security, availability, and performance of a permissioned blockchain network.