Blockchain initiatives underway globally
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).