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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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American Express Latest Blockchain Patent Application to Provide Payment Evidence

An application released last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that multinational financial services corporation American Express (AmEx) is seeking to patent a blockchain payment system.

Patent details

The application details a blockchain-based system to aid financial transactions, specifically in terms of confirming transaction totals and merchant identities. It would also encrypt the proof-of-payment details using the blockchain’s public key, maintaining this on a first blockchain node.

This encrypted data would then be propagated to a second blockchain node which would allow a smart device to decrypt this, sharing the information with a secondary smart device and triggering the correct payment to take place.

The concept was developed with the objective of providing a stronger quality of payment evidence for merchants and customers that goes beyond what is offered on a standard receipt. This blockchain solution would have the potential to offer an extended look into the details of each transaction, covering such elements as contract and transaction data.

Patent applications

AmEx has offered a variety of applications for its proof-of-payment concept. This includes circumstances from standard payment operations to customers being able to use the card they made their purchase with to do such things as unlocking a hotel room by retrieving the proof of payment on the blockchain.

While no decision has been made as of yet in regards to hosting the service on a public or private blockchain, the application notes the benefits of a public network’s cumulative computing power in improving security.

AmEx’s blockchain ventures

Earlier this year, AmEx announced it would begin trials for a membership rewards program, utilizing blockchain standardization technology Hyperledger whom they partnered with last January. The open-source project allows a variety of companies to contribute software code, with IBM already participating in this.

Blockchain has been acknowledged by AmEx as still in its early stages of adoption, but it also recognizes it as a rapidly growing industry that it clearly sees as crucial to be a part of.

 

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