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Deloitte: 84% of Businesses Say Blockchain Mainstream a ”Matter of Time”

Multinational professional services network Deloitte has published results of its 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, with significant findings including that 84% of businesses believe blockchain mainstream adoption is just a matter of time, with the biggest issue to this identified as regulatory concerns.

A total of 1,053 companies took part in the survey across seven countries: Canada, the US, Mexico, France, the UK, Germany and China. Respondents came from ten different industries, with the majority part of financial services, technology/media/telecommunications, and consumer products and manufacturing. Nearly all of the respondents held C-level or equivalent positions, with the largest functional area represented being from information technology.

Key Deloitte findings

  • 84% of businesses responded that they believe it was only a matter of time before blockchain ”achieves mainstream adoption”.
  • The most significant advantage of blockchain over existing systems in the respondents’ industries was voted as the potential for greater speed compared to that currently in use, at 32%; just 2% said they did not see any advantage of blockchain over their established systems.
  • 84% agreed that blockchain-based solutions brought higher levels of security than conventional information technologies.
  • When questioned on the greatest barriers for implementing blockchain technology, 39% cited regulatory issues, 28 % a lack of in-house skills or understanding, and 6% said there were no barriers.
  • The most dominant stakeholders enquiring about blockchain strategies were suppliers with 54% of the businesses experienced this, followed by market analysts at 48%; only 7% had received no such queries.
  • Supply chain blockchain solutions were the most popular response for current use cases the companies were working on at 53%, Internet of Things came second with 51%, and digital identity at 50%; of the businesses surveyed, 4% were not working on any.

The US is falling behind

When it comes to blockchain, the Deloitte survey indicates that the US is not number one. In fact, of the US companies that participated, blockchain had been deployed in production at a much lower rate than those from other countries; 14% of US respondents have begun internal blockchain productions compared to 50% in China and Mexico. It also fell behind other countries when it came to hiring new employees with blockchain experience with just 24% of countries doing so. China was the highest performing in this category with a staggering 86% investing in industry-skilled workers.

Canada is getting it right

In contrast to its neighboring country, Deloitte found a ”vibrant and growing community of blockchain enthusiasts and entrepreneurs” in Canada, putting it at the forefront of both blockchain and cryptocurrency innovations. There is apparently no signs of innovation slowing down in the country, not since Ethereum, in fact, the analysis states.

Part of this success can be attributed to a consistently evolving role of regulations that tend to keep up with changes that blockchain brings, something the US has been struggling with. Despite regulatory concerns being the top issue for the majority in regards to adoption, two-thirds of Canadian respondents do not believe this will be a barrier in their country.

Financial services face pivotal issues, lead progression

The financial services sector may have been the first to explore and globally recognize the potentials of blockchain but its investment is being outperformed by the automotive, life sciences, oil and gas, and tech, media, and telecom sectors. Several significant issues were cited by the participating financial service companies including scalability and security.

As organizations look to explore the extensive number of blockchain solutions within reach, scalability must be addressed. As referenced above, 84% of surveyed companies said they believed blockchain powered systems were more secure, although security is still a major topic discussed by financial services as the ”new threat matrix” is still emerging.

Interestingly, over half of respondents from the oil, gas and automotive industries said that they viewed blockchain uses primarily as ”a database for money or an application for the financial services industry”,’ in conflict with the significantly high number of executives from those industries that claimed to have ”excellent- to expert-level” blockchain understanding. Those from the life sciences and financial services sector voted in far greater numbers that the use cases for blockchain expand far past just financial service provision.

Executives from the financial sector have indeed been leading the way in reexamining areas where the technology can be used to improve the processes and functions of operations that have been static long-term, unsurprisingly ahead of their colleagues in other sectors in terms of development.

”Closer to its breakout moment every day”

The Deloitte survey concludes that academic hypothesis from five years ago is gradually coming into fruition; developers are moving past stages of learning and exploring its potential, to identifying and creating business directed applications. ”[Blockchain] is getting closer to its breakout moment every day”, analysis from the survey reads, pointing to the participating executives’ responses that they plan to make major moves in the field over the following several years.

It continues to suggest a practical future for the technology: ”Instead of concentrating on how to use blockchain to support a specific product or idea, the time has come to focus on evolving blockchain itself… we’re seeing the most dramatic progress being made by those organizations that have willfully jumped into the deep end of the pool.”

 

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Romania’s Crypto Development Calls for E-funds Issuance Draft Bill

The Romanian Finance Ministry has announced the release of what it refers to as an Emergency Ordinance, which targets the issuance of e-funds in the country, writes Cointelegraph.

In Europe’s second poorest nation, the cryptocurrency industry is in its early stages of development without a coherent regulatory framework and although the use of Bitcoin is not illegal, the Romanian Financial Supervision Authority has issued warnings against its uses due what it calls “risk of fraud”.

The announced move is aimed at adding some clarity the issuance of e-funds which would see digital currency falling under the same legal umbrella. The new draft states electronic money as being:

“…monetary value stored electronically, including magnetic, representing a claim on the issuer issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of performing payment transactions and which is accepted by a person other than the issuer of electronic money.”

The draft goes on to state that that under this description, any legal issuer of e-money must have a share capital of no less than EUR 350,000 (USD 409,000), and issuers must have sought approval by the Romanian National Bank (BNR).

Those entities listed as being able to legally issue funds under the proposed rules would be credit institutions, electronic money institutions, the European Central Bank, and the national central banks.

Approval from the BNR would be valid for a period of 12 months although it is not clear if this would need to be renewed after the expiry period without a further submission to its governing regulator in order to continue operating. Any unauthorized issuance of funds through the BNR would be regarded as a criminal offence, punishable by a fine or six months to three years imprisonment.

Although the crypto industry in Romania could hardly be described as vibrant, Bucharest has its own Bitcoin ATM and the western town of Oreada is home to BTCXChange, the country’s first exchange owned by local politician Horea Vuscan. When asked about the difficulties connected with running a cryptocurrency exchange in Romania, Vuscan said that he had “groped around in the legislation and interpreted some policies”.

According to a news source, in 2017, the country’s Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Environment Minister Ilan Laufer said that he approved of cryptocurrency, but called for regulation, commenting:

“It’s a challenge for the banking system because this area isn’t very well regulated and I believe that this should happen. It’s an area in which lots of money circulates, but it is also a new technology.”

 

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Marco Santori – Bitcoin Law In The U.S., Part I

Marco Santori – Bitcoin Law In The U.S., Part I:

Marco Santori, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation (@BTCFoundation)’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, gives a basic primer on the state of US law as it applies to digital currency entrepreneurs.  Excerpts of the post on Coindesk:

If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that there will soon exist a new and evolving body of law: The Law of Digital Currency, or, as some would prefer it: Bitcoin Law.”

”[…] ‘virtual currency’ is something of a loaded term, and bitcoin may not even be best described as a currency at all.”

“[In addition to regulators FinCEN and the SEC, the] consensus among legal professionals is that two more government agencies might soon have a hand in the market as well: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).”

“Some have called [FinCEN’s issuance of guidance] bitcoin’s ‘watershed moment’ because of its clear, unequivocal positive message: bitcoin is not illegal. The negative consequence, though, was just as obvious: Many bitcoin businesses models are illegal.”

“In effect, the [Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)] deputizes financial institutions, requiring them to act as the government’s foot soldiers in its war on money laundering.”

 – http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-law-what-us-businesses-need-to-know
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=276614.0 (Further discussion of the article)

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