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Survey reveals new blockchain trends in audit

Discoveries from the MIT Business of Blockchain conference

A Deloitte survey conducted at the Business of Blockchain conference on April 18, 2017, produced by MIT Technology Review and the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative, yielded some interesting responses.​

All eyes on blockchain: A new way to do business

At a time when cybersecurity has become a central concern, digital technologies like blockchains, or distributed ledgers, are increasingly viewed as a potential solution for organizations looking to do business across borders and around the world in a fast, secure manner. At the Business of Blockchain conference, produced by MIT Technology Review in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative, leaders from a wide array of industries—from finance and healthcare to music and renewable energy—shared learnings on how distributed ledgers can help organizations operate more securely and efficiently. Deloitte conducted a brief survey of conference attendees for a snapshot on what is on the minds of many as they think about the growing impact of blockchains.

The survey results indicate that participants see practical use cases for blockchain technology and a role for smart contracts to compliment traditional legal contracts. However, when asked about two important issues related to blockchain adoption—key management and resolving disputes—survey respondents did not have a consensus.

Will Bible, Audit & Assurance partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Read on for the results of this survey.

  • The survey asked which function will blockchain most likely replace in society. Almost 50 percent of respondents said payment networks, with title registries a distant second.
  • When asked what impact smart contracts will have on agreements between companies, a large majority—almost 70 percent—responded that they believe smart contracts will complement, not replace, legal agreements. Very few respondents (2.8 percent) supported the notion that smart contracts are unlikely to ever be used widely.
  • When asked who would be trusted to protect and maintain their private key, banks and third-party firms received 18 percent and 15 percent of the responses, respectively.
  • When asked in the event of blockchain-related disputes between two or more parties—which type of entity should be in charge of resolving disputes, 31 percent of responding attendees said that a blockchain community of users should be involved. Coming in second was the traditional court system with 26 percent, followed by government regulators at 25 percent.
  • When asked which areas of the business may yield the most potential benefits from analytics, 40 percent of respondents said operations, almost 36 percent answered finance, and 6 percent said HR.

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Discover the results of a survey conducted at the Business of Blockchain conference in April: All eyes on blockchain: A new way to do business.

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