Regulatory Uncertainty Remains a Hurdle but Corporate Interest in Blockchain is on the Rise: PwC Survey

Regulatory Uncertainty Remains a Hurdle but Corporate Interest in Blockchain is on the Rise PwC Survey

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a ‘Big Four’ auditing firm, has just released the results of its 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, dubbed “Blockchain is here. What’s your next move?” The study included 600 executives from 15 countries: Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, the UAE, the UK and the US. In addition, big institutions were targeted with 31 percent of represented companies generating over $1 billion in yearly revenue.

Uncertainty on crypto regulation predictably remains the most significant issue, with 48 percent of respondents, ranking it among top three concerns and 27 percent labeling it as the biggest problem. Lack of trust among users and as well as ability to bring the network together rank second and third, with 45 and 44 percent of respondents respectively ranking them among the three major barriers for blockchain adoption. Somewhat surprisingly, inability to scale is not seen as a critical hurdle, with only 6 percent labeling it as the biggest concern.

Steve Davies, blockchain leader at PwC commented that “Businesses tell us that they don’t want to be left behind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its development, concerns on trust and regulation remain. Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn.“

Nonetheless, there were more exciting findings, as 84 percent of executives reported to be having blockchain initiatives in progress, with the biggest part of them (32 percent) still being in development. However, a fourth of all respondents reported their company has an either fully live blockchain implementation or one that is in the pilot phase.

Another interesting finding is the increasing variety of distributed ledger technology. In 2017, 82% of reported blockchain use cases were in financial services, however that number has dropped to just 46% in 2018, with blockchain potential in industries such as healthcare, utilities or energy being explored. Geographically, the industry epicenter is shifting as well. While respondents believe that the US remains the most advanced territory for developing blockchain, China is expected to overtake the States in the next few years.

Speaking to Forbes, Alison Kutler, strategic policy advisers leader at PwC said the performance of blockchain projects that are currently being allowed to flourish by the local governments will be crucial towards wider acceptance.

According to her, “Policy makers in some jurisdictions seem more supportive of the innovative applications of blockchain and are creating regulatory environments that allow incubators to develop new applications. The results of these highly experimental environments for blockchain-based commerce will be critically influential for expanding policies to more geographic areas and industries.”

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