Block-chains are planned to be useful in systems its require settlement between the parties. Many of the main players in banking are backing the R3 consortium, which is researching the use of a block-chain i.e distributed ledger for interbank reconciliations and other financial applications.
At Reconciling ledgers between the banks spent millions of dollars every year. If distributed ledger solutions could be created that is able to handle the large volume of transactions between banks, then this expense could be largely reduced.
This application would be private ledger – where only invited parties can be view the registers or contribute in creating new entries. Though, it would allow for inter-bank transactions to form a single, imposing record to all the parties could verify. This could decrease the large efforts spent on reconciling books between the parties, and allows for a more effective banking system.
This kind of solution is not feasible with the current applications of block-chain & indeed the R3 project has been nowadays adapted into different distributed ledger applications for the financial sector. Though, assuming that these significant challenges could be overcome, that is possibly a very impactful area of application for the block-chain. Many others are looking to supply chain integration for similar reasons.