Blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. It’s been one of the most talked about words in the finance and technology industries for the past five years — but it’s seen some ups and downs. In the latter half of 2017, blockchain was on fire as the cryptocurrency bitcoin hit all-time highs. Since then, its value has significantly dropped. However, blockchain remains in the public eye. Companies around the world are looking to utilize it to enhance efficiencies and better protect themselves and their customers.
According to a recent survey conducted and published by PwC, 84 percent of executives indicated their companies are “actively involved” with blockchain technology. The survey of more than 600 executives across 15 different territories also lamented that the United States is leading current blockchain efforts, But experts stress that leading the way isn’t the same as paving the way. Other countries like South Korea, Switzerland and China have also made headway on blockchain.
The survey also revealed that 45 percent of respondents indicated that trust is the biggest issue currently in the path to successful adoption of blockchain. Executives understand that blockchain may eventually provide increased security, anonymity and reliability, but currently, there is still a lack of those qualities. Adding to those fears, some of the world’s most renowned investors have condemned investing in cryptocurrencies. Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon are two of the biggest critics. At one point, Buffett even told CNBC that bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.”
Another piece of research by Cowen suggests it will still take an additional six years for blockchain to actually obtain widespread adoption due to the lack of regulation and compliance currently around it.
“People are both over and underestimating the change blockchain will have on their particular vertical,” says Shiv Malik, head of strategy and communications at blockchain-backed Streamr. “There has been plenty of hype and investment in the last few years about the potential of blockchain, but the tangible results of those investments are yet to procure world-changing applications – certainly not outside of Fintech. It is unsurprising to see that financial services are seen to be leading the blockchain revolution at 46 percent, vastly outweighing other industries like retail and consumer at a mere 4 percent. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t come – it has to. People’s expectations, not of what can be achieved but how fast it should be achieved, need to be tempered so that the imminent transition is as seamless as possible, and we can all appreciate the benefits.”
Whether or not the hype has yet been realized, blockchain is a technology of the future and inches closer to becoming the technology of the present with each passing day.