Blockchain technology is ready to explode in business as focus shifts from exploring the possibilities to building practical applications.
That’s the conclusion drawn from a poll of more than a thousand blockchain technology savvy business leaders in seven countries by global consultancy Deloitte.
Overall, three out four business leaders felt they had a ‘compelling business case’ for developing blockchain applications.
A third confirmed that their business already has active blockchain technology, while 40% expect their companies to deploy blockchain applications within the next 12 months.
Another 40% confirmed that their businesses were investing at least $5 million in blockchain research during the coming year.
A fifth of businesses confessed they do not have a good reason to deploy blockchain applications.
But 78% of businesses believe they may lose competitive advantage if they do not take up the technology even though they feel the return on investment is uncertain.
“Momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of the technology to identifying and building practical business applications. It just may not be happening when and where we expected,” says the report.
“The global executives with excellent-to-expert knowledge of the technology we surveyed hold more pragmatic views and look poised to make some major moves over the next year. They see great value in blockchain’s potential to reinvent processes across the business value chain—and there is interest and investment in a wide range of use cases.
“As more organizations put their resources behind this emerging technology, we expect blockchain to gain significant traction as its potential for greater efficiency, support for new business models and revenue sources, and enhanced security are demonstrated in real-world situations.”
A quarter of the companies moving forward with blockchain technology are in financial services, says the report.
The second largest sector with an 18% slice of the market is technology, media and telecommunications.
Nevertheless, many executives feel blockchain technology is overhyped – ranging from an average 39% worldwide to 44% in the US.
“Blockchain is a versatile technology that can record financial transactions, store medical records, or track the flow of goods, information, and payments through a supply chain. Ultimately, it’s more of a business model enabler, than a technology,” says the report.