Blockchain is everywhere
A new survey shows 84% of companies are dabbling in distributed ledger technology and digital tokens.
“Everyone is talking about blockchain, and no one wants to be left behind,” according to @PwC ’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, which included 600 executives from 15 territories. And it’s not just about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
According to PwC, the ecosystem is solidifying: 84% of respondents are actively involved with blockchain; 45% believe trust could delay adoption; 30% see China as a rising blockchain leader; and 28% say interoperability of systems is a key for success.
“It’s easy to see why,” the new survey points out. “As a distributed, tamperproof ledger, a well-designed blockchain doesn’t just cut out intermediaries, reduce costs, and increase speed and reach. It also offers greater transparency and traceability for many business processes.”
While research and advisory firm Gartner forecasts that blockchain will generate an annual business value of more than $3 trillion by 2030, PwC explains that “it’s possible to imagine that 10% to 20% of global economic infrastructure will be running on blockchain-based systems by that same year.”
Big Tech and the banking industry seem to be very interested in blockchain. CNBC stressed that companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are exploring use cases for the technology. For example: Facebook announced in May it is going through a reorganization that will include a new blockchain effort; IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, JP Morgan, and HSBC are among the other corporate names with similar initiatives.
“Our survey respondents still perceive financial services to be the current and near-term future leader of blockchain, but also see potential in industrial products, energy and utilities and healthcare,” PwC says.
In terms of geographical leadership in blockchain technology and product or service development, “an early centre of gravity in the US and Europe is shifting,” the survey reads. “Our survey respondents believe that the US is the most advanced territory in developing blockchain today, but that in three to five years, the leader will be China.”
PwC also identifies a roadmap to make the case for blockchain in business and enterprise:
- Evolution, not revolution: Strategic clarity will ensure that your blockchain initiative has a business purpose around which you and other participants can align.
- Friend or foe: Blockchain may call for competitors to collaborate in a new way, as they come together to solve industry-wide problems.
- Determine the rules of engagement: Every blockchain will require rules and standards, particularly around what various participants will be able to access and how they can engage.
- Watch, but don’t wait: You’ll need to stay agile to meet regulatory requirements as they evolve in the years to come.
Indeed, this last point about regulatory requirements seem the biggest hurdle for the blockchain ecosystem and to further adoption. Almost half of the respondents believe the overall regulatory environment remains unsettled as the majority of regulators are still coming to terms with blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Trust is the second biggest hurdle for the ecosystem and 45% of respondents believe that, while by design, blockchain can foster trust, “in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn.