Insights

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey

Blockchain gets down to business.

The blockchain story is beginning a new chapter, one in which the questions executives are asking are tougher, more granular, more grounded, and more pragmatic. The question for executives is no longer, "Will blockchain work?" but, "How can we make blockchain work for us?"

Since the first blockchain advocates began promoting the technology’s capabilities over a decade ago, leaders across industries have often seemed unsure what to do with it. But in 2019, something unmistakable appears to be happening. What has emerged is a shared recognition that blockchain is real—and that it can serve as a pragmatic solution to business problems across industries and use cases. This is not some far-flung vision held by long-standing believers in the technology. Even leaders wary of tech-based solutions have come to see the larger, transformational importance of the technology.

Though blockchain hasn’t reached its full potential, savvy executives surveyed for Deloitte’s 2019 global blockchain survey are confident about new and evolving use cases; they continue to see the technology as a connecting platform that can enable many business processes. Since our last survey, respondents report that overall corporate blockchain investment is growing across most sectors as new, practical applications gain traction.

Like young college graduates quickly adjusting their expectations after entering the workforce, executives have seen time and practical considerations refine and define their view of what is possible in using blockchain into what is plausible—and what is practical. What we’re seeing in 2019 is the continuing evolution of blockchain from a capable yet underdeveloped technology into a more refined and mature solution poised to deliver on its initial promise to disrupt.

Global Blockchain Survey 2019

Read the full report

2019 survey highlights

Last year’s survey showed blockchain adoption reaching a turning point: Momentum had begun shifting from “blockchain tourism” and exploration toward the building of practical business applications. Financial services and, more specifically, the financial technology (fintech) sector were leading in blockchain development, while other industries were cautious in their search for use cases to provide a return on investment to justify the cost and effort of implementing blockchain solutions.

Today, fintech remains a blockchain leader, but more organisations in more sectors - such as technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and health care, and government - are expanding and diversifying their blockchain initiatives. Still, despite these advances, progress remains measured in the wake of blockchain’s first cyclical rise and fall, and the resulting attitude shifts following the initial blockchain buzz.

On a positive note, this year’s survey reveals continued strong investment, with those willing to invest US$5 million or more in new blockchain initiatives over the next 12 months, holding steady at 40 percent (up a point from 2018). Simultaneously, 53 percent of respondents say that blockchain technology has become a critical priority for their organisations in 2019 - a 10-point increase over last year. Moreover, 83 percent see compelling use cases for blockchain, up from 74 percent, and respondents’ overall attitudes toward blockchain have strengthened meaningfully. 

Other 2019 survey data points to signs of blockchain’s increased maturity. For example, respondents saw blockchain providing more diverse advantages than in 2018. Similarly, the increasing diversification of potential use cases for blockchain - and the wider array and greater parity of identified barriers to blockchain adoption - suggest further signs of maturation.

To find out more, read the full report.

“We believe executives should no longer ask a single question about blockchain but, rather, a broad set of questions reflecting the role blockchain can play within their organisations.”

Questions include:

  • How are blockchain-enabled processes changing the way my sector does business?
  • How can blockchain reshape my industry? What are my long-term objectives and strategies?
  • Does blockchain create the potential for new market ecosystems, and what role should I play?
  • How do I leverage the inherently open nature of blockchain?
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