Blockchain technology remains one of the most interesting technological sectors for businesses worldwide. Its advantages and more secure infrastructure have enticed companies to look into its potential to execute a number of tasks. As a result, research analysts, market researchers, and entrepreneurs are optimistic about its implications.
Deloitte, a leading consultation firm, released an online survey that highlighted blockchain opinions from 308 senior executives of U.S. companies with an annual revenue greater than $500 million. The survey covered a diverse group of topics and enabled executives to comment on their respective organization's blockchain investment plans.
According to the survey, blockchain awareness remains substantial. Roughly 39 percent of senior executives demonstrated little or no knowledge of blockchain tech. However, a majority (61 percent) were familiar with the blockchain and see the technology as a critical element for both their companies and their industries Over 55 percent believe that ignorance to the emerging technology would place their companies at a disadvantage. Over 42 percent of the majority believe that blockchain technology will make a lasting impact on their industries.
David Schatsky, Managing Director with Deloitte LLP stated:
"It is fair to say that industry is still confused to a degree about the potential for blockchain. More than a quarter of surveyed knowledgeable execs say their companies view blockchain as a critical, top-five priority. But about a third consider the technology overhyped."
Despite the technology being in its infancy, many companies are actively investing in research and development of blockchain-based solutions. According to the survey, 21 percent of senior executives disclosed that their firms are actively engaged in blockchain solutions. Another 25 percent stated that they have plans to deploy blockchain solutions within the upcoming year.
A lot of blockchain progress made across different industries is partially due to large investments. 28 percent of the executives that were surveyed revealed that their companies have invested up to $5 million or more into blockchain tech. An additional 10 percent of those surveyed reported investments up to $10 million or more. Another 25 percent of execs are looking to invest $5 million or more within the upcoming year.
According to the survey, there are a number of possible reasons why the blockchain is being considered by leading companies. Roughly 36 percent of those surveyed expressed that the blockchain will reduce costs and improve system operations. Another 37 percent credit blockchain security attributes as its most interesting features. Almost 24 percent are excited about the technology's potential to generate new innovative concepts and profit avenues.
The blockchain is being adopted in some industries more readily than others. According to the survey, consumer products and manufacturing take the lead, with technology, media, and telecoms not far behind. Of these industries, only 30 percent of companies have actually deployed blockchain solutions. Only 12 percent of financial service executives have revealed that their companies have already deployed blockchain-based solutions. 24 percent of other financial industry execs have stated that the finance industry will green light blockchain projects within the next year. Lastly, the health care industry will experience a boost in blockchain adoption, with 35 percent of health care execs expecting to actively use blockchain tech within the next year.
The first barrier is patenting. Companies willing to participate in blockchain research must take the initiative and file their own patents. Only 21 percent of those surveyed stated that their company has filed for blockchain patents. This number remains small because demand for patents varies between industries. However, industries like consumer products and manufacturing have become more innovative with the technology. Only 38 percent of executives within the consumer products and manufacturing industries say their companies have filed patents.
The second barrier rests in the concern about technical standards. Since the technology is still in its infancy, it has led to a lack of technical standards being inclusively adopted. 56 percent of the execs surveyed would be more convinced about the blockchain if there was an adoption of solid standards.
The third barrier is regulation. 48 percent of those surveyed believe that the creation of federal regulation supporting blockchain use would spike acceptance. Due to strict etiquettes, organizations have legitimate concerns when it comes to regulatory protocols. For example, "Does a smart contract represent a legal binding contract between two entities?"
Although the U.S. firms who participated in the survey remain anonymous, we still have a rough estimate of blockchain tech priority within large organizations. Deloitte's survey reinforces the idea that blockchain technology is trending worldwide. With the U.S. standing as one of the leaders in innovation, it's not a far-fetched idea to believe that blockchain use will become commonplace within a few industries. Moving forward, 2017 looks to be another promising year for blockchain technology. A plethora of conferences are already scheduled to take place and more concern is being placed on blockchain regulation to enhance its usage and credibility. Once the correct protocols, practices, and concerns are addressed, more mainstream adoption can occur.