Blockchain ini­tia­tives un­der­way glob­ally

NZ Business - - INBOX -

Some 84 per­cent of in­ter­na­tional ex­ec­u­tives sur­veyed by PwC, re­port blockchain ini­tia­tives un­der­way and 15 per­cent said it was fully live.

The new re­search from PwC – Blockchain is here. What’s your next move? – sur­veyed 600 ex­ec­u­tives in 15 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries [but not New Zealand] on their de­vel­op­ment of blockchain and views on its po­ten­tial.

As blockchain rewires busi­ness and com­merce, the re­search pro­vides one of the clear­est sig­nals yet of or­gan­i­sa­tions’ fear of be­ing left be­hind as blockchain de­vel­op­ments ac­cel­er­ate glob­ally open­ing up op­por­tu­ni­ties in­clud­ing re­duced cost, greater speed and more trans­parency and trace­abil­ity, says PwC in a me­dia state­ment.

It says that a quar­ter of ex­ec­u­tives re­port a blockchain im­ple­men­ta­tion pi­lot in progress (10 per­cent) or fully live (15 per­cent). Al­most a third (32 per­cent) have projects in de­vel­op­ment and a fifth (20 per­cent) are in re­search mode.

The US (29 per­cent), China (18 per­cent), Aus­tralia (seven per­cent) are per­ceived as the most ad­vanced cur­rently in de­vel­op­ing blockchain projects. How­ever PwC says that within three to five years, re­spon­dents be­lieve China will be have over­taken the US (30 per­cent), shift­ing the early cen­tre of in­flu­ence and ac­tiv­ity from the US and Europe.

The sur­vey re­flects the early dom­i­nance of fi­nan­cial ser­vices de­vel­op­ments in blockchain with 46 per­cent iden­ti­fy­ing it as the lead­ing sec­tor cur­rently and 41 per­cent in near term (3-5 years). Sec­tors iden­ti­fied by re­spon­dents with emerg­ing po­ten­tial within 3-5 years in­clude en­ergy and util­i­ties (14 per­cent), health­care (14 per­cent) and in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ing (12 per­cent).

“What busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives tell us is that no-one wants to be left be­hind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its de­vel­op­ment, con­cerns on trust and reg­u­la­tion re­main,” says Steve Davies, Blockchain Leader, PwC.

“A well-de­signed blockchain doesn’t just cut out in­ter­me­di­aries, it re­duces costs, in­creases speed, reach, trans­parency and trace­abil­ity for many busi­ness pro­cesses. The busi­ness case can be com­pelling, if or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der­stand what their end game is in us­ing the tech­nol­ogy, and match that to their de­sign.”

PwC says that blockchain’s big­gest ben­e­fits will be de­vel­oped and de­liv­ered through shared in­dus­try wide plat­forms. But the study notes that this won’t hap­pen with­out in­dus­try spe­cific com­pa­nies – in­clud­ing com­peti­tors – agree­ing com­mon stan­dards and op­er­at­ing to­gether.

De­spite the tech­nol­ogy’s po­ten­tial, re­spon­dents iden­ti­fied trust as one of the big­gest block­ers to blockchain’s adop­tion. 45 per­cent iden­ti­fied it as blocker to blockchain adop­tion: 48 per­cent be­lieve its reg­u­la­tory un­cer­tainty. Con­cern about trust amongst users is high­est in Sin­ga­pore (37 per­cent); UAE (34 per­cent) and Hong Kong (35 per­cent), re­flect­ing in part the dom­i­nance of fi­nan­cial ser­vices in blockchain de­vel­op­ment. Con­cern about reg­u­la­tory un­cer­tainty was high­est in Ger­many (38 per­cent); Aus­tralia (37 per­cent) and the UK (32 per­cent).

One in three of those re­spon­dents who re­ported lit­tle or no in­volve­ment with blockchain cited the rea­son for a lack of progress as cost (31 per­cent), un­cer­tainty over where to start (24 per­cent) and gover­nance is­sues (14 per­cent).


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