BLOCKCHAIN EXPLORATION REMAINS CENTER STAGE IN FINANCIAL SERVICES: A new PwC survey of 600 executives from 15 territories found that 84% of organizations represented by respondents have some involvement with blockchain technology. Of the survey respondents, 64% reported that their organizations had a blockchain project underway, though 34% of participants indicated that such projects are only at the research or theoretical stage of development. Costs, lack of knowledge, and inadequate governance were highlighted as obstacles to developments of blockchain projects by those companies that have yet to make much progress.
- Financial services continues to lead when it comes to blockchain development. The majority of respondents (46%) consider financial services to be the leading industry for blockchain development. Although this is almost half the number who said the same last year (82%), it remains significantly higher than the other most cited industries, including energy and utilities (12%), industrial products (12%), and healthcare (11%). Furthermore, the report notes a shift in the center of gravity from the US and EU to China. The US is seen as the current leader in blockchain development, selected by 29% of respondents, but 30% of executives anticipate China will take this mantle within the next three to five years.
- Regulatory uncertainty is the biggest barrier to blockchain adoption, cited by 48% of respondents. Close behind are a lack of trust among users (45%) and the ability to bring a network together (44%).
The findings of the report support trends we’re seeing broadly in financial services. We have seen numerous pilot projects and live tests using blockchain technology announced recently, such as Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com’s Blockchain-as-a-Service offering and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) blockchain-based trade finance platform, which links finance giants including HSBC and Standard Chartered. And, with increasing number of financial institutions looking to implementblockchain-based solutions, 89% of banks in Europe want to introduce this technology for trade finance and 74% for digital identity, it’s likely that financial services will continue to lead the way in blockchain development.