Economic Sector

Last updated: Monday, April 22, 2019


Four Out of Five Executives (84 per cent) Report Blockchain Initiatives Underway

Posted: Saturday, September 01, 2018

84 per cent of executives surveyed by PwC report blockchain initiatives underway – 15 per cent fully live.

The new research from PwC – Blockchain is here. What’s your next move? – surveyed 600 executives in 15 countries and territories, 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.

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

The US (29 per cent), China (18 per cent), Australia (7 per cent) are perceived as the most advanced currently in developing blockchain projects. However within three to five years, respondents believe China will be have overtaken the US (30 per cent), 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 per cent identifying it as the leading sector currently and 41 per cent in near term (3-5 years). Sectors identified by respondents with emerging potential within 3-5 years include energy and utilities (14 per cent), healthcare (14 per cent) and industrial manufacturing (12 per cent).

“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,” comments 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.”

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 per cent identified it as blocker to blockchain adoption; 48 per cent believe its regulatory uncertainty. Concern about trust amongst users is highest in Singapore (37 per cent); UAE (34 per cent) and Hong Kong (35 per cent), reflecting in part the dominance of financial services in blockchain development. Concern about regulatory uncertainty was highest in Germany (38 per cent); Australia (37 per cent) and the UK (32 per cent).

“Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issue at nearly every turn. Failing to state a clear business case from the outset leads to projects stalling,” continues Steve Davies, PwC. “Businesses needs to put more effort into building into their design how they can tackle trust and regulatory concerns.”

“Creating and implementing blockchain to realise its potential is not an IT project. It’s a transformation of business models, roles, and processes. It needs a clear business case, an ecosystem to support it; with rules, standards and flexibility to deal with regulatory change built in.”

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 per cent) uncertainty over where to start (24 per cent and governance issues (14 per cent)

“Blockchain is an indispensable trend in technology. The potential of blockchain applications in Vietnam is huge. We’ve seen a great deal of events held in Vietnam that focus on the importance and application of blockchain in many industries and business fields. However, security in blockchain should also be taken into serious consideration. From a technical point of view, blockchain is one of the most secured technologies currently. Yet the risk from cyber-attacks is still existant because blockchain still operates on a traditional platform. Therefore, we cannot remove the requirements of information security and privacy out of the development of blockchain,” said Robert Trong Tran, Cyber Security and Privacy leader at PwC Vietnam.


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