Juniper Research has revealed in a new study that the total value of Venture Capital investment into blockchain technologies and Bitcoin-related companies in the first 6 months of 2016 totalled $290 million.

The Future of Blockchain

In the new report – The Future of Blockchain: Bitcoin, Remittance, ID Verification & Smart Contracts 2016-2021 - it says more than 30 startups received funding within the period and more than a third of all investment was accounted for by three companies.

They are social payment provider, Circle; sidechain developer, Blockstream; and distributed ledger solutions provider, Digital Asset holdings.

Circle announced a $60M strategic financing from a syndicate of major Chinese investors in June led by Beijing-based VC, IDG Capital Partners.

In February, Blockstream raised $55 million in Series A funding to further enhance our sidechain technology, expand our operations globally, and support new industry partnerships.

Between January and February, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and IBM joined 13 other industry leaders across the financial ecosystem in a funding round for Digital Asset to bring its total to more than $60 million.

Growing support and endorsement

The growing interest and investment in the blockchain technology was also reported by the World Economic Forum.

In its the future of financial infrastructure report, WEF says that awareness of the blockchain technology aka distributed ledger technology (DLT) has grown rapidly though significant hurdles remain to large-scale implementation.

According to the report, over US$1.4 billion has been invested in the blockchain technology over the past three years with more than 90 central banks engaged in DLT discussions worldwide and 80% of banks predicted to initiate DLT projects by 2017.

Similarly, the Juniper’s study highlighted the increasing diversification of nascent blockchain deployments, with applications ranging from identity to asset management.

It also pinpointed the banking sector as being particularly proactive, with several banks having already adopted the Ripple blockchain protocol and others piloting competing solutions.

Though Juniper warned that contents of smart contracts including, potentially, bugs or flaws, would be visible to all the users of any blockchain used, it says a blockchain-based system would substantially reduce the risk of error and the time taken for error checking.