Beware blockchain fatigue: Deloitte unveils global survey findings

Blockchain is at an inflection point, with momentum shifting from “blockchain tourism” and exploration to the building of practical business applications, it says

Professional services firm, Deloitte has released its 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, involving 1,053 senior executives in Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, the UK and US.

“While blockchain is not quite ready for primetime, it is getting closer to its breakout moment every day. The academic hypotheses of five years ago are steadily becoming a reality. Momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of the technology to identifying and building practical business applications.,” says Deloitte.

“The executives we surveyed hold pragmatic views and look poised to make some major moves over the next year. Those we surveyed see great value in blockchain’s potential to reinvent processes across the business value chain as more investment is made in identifying and developing a wider range of use cases. Further, we see our clients making meaningful investments in the present day, starting new businesses based on the unique value proposition offered by blockchain and tokens.”

Overhyped

There are numerous barriers to overcome, however. Despite enterprise digital respondents’ interest in blockchain’s capabilities, nearly 39% of the broad global sample said they believe the tech is “overhyped.” In the United States, 44% of respondents feel that way, up from 34% in a 2016 survey by Deloitte. This perception may be driven by the steep increase in token values over the last 18 months, and survey members conflating blockchain with the incentive layer of public blockchains, namely tokens.

Adding to this uncertainty is the fact that while more than 41% of respondents say they expect their organisations to bring blockchain into production within the next year, 21% of global respondents – and 30% of US respondents – say they still lack a compelling application to justify its implementation.

A significant percentage of early adopters in the business community (59%) believe in blockchain’s potential to disrupt and revolutionise their industries and the overall economy. The problem, however, is that for all the talk about its promise, there are very few active use cases they can currently employ to advance their beliefs.

As a result, a certain “blockchain fatigue” is beginning to set in among those who feel its potential has been over-communicated, while its real-world benefits remain elusive. “While this viewpoint is understandable, we believe it is also somewhat self-fulfilling and, ultimately, self-defeating. Based on our view of where blockchain is today and, more importantly, its likely adoption rate within the next three years, we strongly believe that organisations need to evolve their thinking around the technology,” says Deloitte.

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By - November 15, 2018