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Analysis

Deloitte blockchain survey 2017

Blockchain reaching beyond financial services

According to a Deloitte survey, blockchain technology is emerging as a key business focus for US companies in many industries, with many executives in the consumer products and manufacturing and technology, media and telecommunications sectors planning their biggest investments to date in 2017.

Executive summary

An understanding of the technology is uneven according to the survey. Nearly 40 percent of surveyed senior executives still have little or no knowledge about blockchain, while others executives place it among their company’s highest priorities for 2017. And commitments to blockchain vary by industry, in ways that may be surprising.

Among surveyed executives knowledgeable of blockchain, more than a quarter view it as a top-five priority for 2017. The following infographics explores the survey findings.

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Hype or agent of transformation?

Almost two in five (39 percent) of senior executives at large US companies surveyed indicated they had little or no knowledge about blockchain technology. The majority (61 percent), though, claimed blockchain knowledge ranging from broad to expert.

The analysis below is focused on the 61 percent of the executives who say they are knowledgeable about blockchain and their company’s plans for the technology. There were 308 such executives in our sample.

  • Many of the executives see the technology as crucial for their company and their industry. Fifty-five percent of this group said their company would be at a competitive disadvantage if it failed to adopt the technology
  • Forty-two percent of those surveyed who claimed some knowledge of blockchain believe it will disrupt their industry

It is fair to say that industry is still confused to a degree about the potential for blockchain. More than a quarter of surveyed knowledgeable execs say their companies view blockchain as a critical, top-five priority. But about a third consider the technology overhyped.

— David Schatsky, managing director, Deloitte LLP

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Investments made and planned

​This progress around blockchain production is due in part to investments many companies say they have already made. Twenty-eight percent of these respondents reported that their companies have already invested $5 million or more in blockchain technology, with 10 percent investing $10 million or more. Looking forward, 25 percent of respondents expect to invest more than $5 million in blockchain technology during the next calendar year.

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Significant blockchain activities outside of financial services

Investment and adoption patterns vary by industry, in a pattern that defies conventional wisdom. Although the financial services industry was early to show interest in blockchain, and accounts for a significant amount of investment and activity, the survey revealed that other industries may be even more aggressive in pursuing blockchain strategies.

  • Forty-two percent of executives surveyed in the consumer products and manufacturing industry are planning an investment of $5 million or more in the coming calendar year 
  • Technology, media and telecoms execs follow at 27 percent, and financial services at 23 percent

Most financial services companies have been involved in blockchain via their labs, investments, and pilots for a while now. Other industries are now starting to realize the potential for disruption, as well as the new opportunities that blockchain creates.

— Eric Piscini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Global Financial Services Blockchain leader

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About the survey

This survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online between November 14 and December 1, 2016. The survey polled a sample of 308 senior executives in the US at companies with $500 million or more in annual revenue. Respondents had at least a broad understanding of blockchain and were familiar with and able to comment on their company’s blockchain investment plans.

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