Blockchain Increasingly a Strategic Priority: Report

by Ruth Seeley

The disruptive technology known as blockchain has been in use for more than a decade now. It has evolved from technology that supported Bitcoin and other crypto currencies to an integral part of building a digital supply chain.

Now in its third year, Deloitte’s “Global Blockchain Survey” reveals a compelling evolution of blockchain from an experimental, disruptive technology to a true strategic priority for organizations. Survey respondents indicated increased sentiment; investments; and more strategic talent sourcing and requirements for blockchain initiatives. For the first time, the survey digs into the role and evolution of digital assets.

Among the key survey findings:

  • 39% of global respondents have already incorporated blockchain into production. This is a significant increase from 23% of respondents signaling production last year. 
  • 55% of responding organizations view blockchain as a top strategic priority, an increase from 53% in 2019 and 43% in 2018.
  • Nearly 89% of those surveyed believe that digital assets will be “very” or “somewhat” important to their industries in the next three years.
  • 82% of respondents said that they are hiring staff with blockchain expertise or plan to do so within the next 12 months, compared to 73% last year.
  • 83% of respondents indicated their companies will lose competitive advantage if they don’t adopt blockchain (versus 77% in 2019).
  • 70% call the pace of regulatory change for blockchain and digital asset solutions as “very” or “somewhat” fast.
  • Increased advances of large-scale blockchain initiatives are occurring including blockchain-based financial infrastructure to simplify global money movement and commerce, as well as distributed ledger technology for trade finance and blockchain-enabled track-and-trace platforms, among others. The survey report also revealed increased blockchain initiatives in daily processes including title transfer and protection; patient data storage and retrieval; and more efficient voting or food sourcing tracking.

“While blockchain was once classified as a technology experiment, it now represents a true agent of change that is affecting the entire organization,” said Linda Pawczuk, Principal, Global and US Consulting Leader for Blockchain and Digital Assets, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Like many disruptive technologies, it has evolved from a merely promising and potentially groundbreaking approach to a now integral solution to organizational innovation. This year’s survey suggests that blockchain is solidly entrenched in the strategic thinking of organizations across industries, sectors and applications.”

“Our survey confirms what we see in the marketplace — a proliferation of digital assets used as a means of exchange, a store of value, digital representations of specific assets, or equity in a company,” said Rob Massey, Partner, Global and US Tax Leader for Blockchain and Digital Assets, Deloitte Tax LLP. “Digital assets are now enabling enhanced commercialization models across industries and geographies.”

Regional analysis

Asia Pacific responses revealed a widespread recognition of blockchain’s strategic value, while China expressed concerns over cross-border implications. Germany exhibited substantial activity around crypto regulation. UAE exhibits continued emergence of a digital assets ecosystem and the survey report signals Israel’s blockchain innovation leadership.

Consortia and governance

The survey also revealed leadership perspectives around joining consortia and an increased understanding of the benefits of consortia to help address regulatory and other complexities of implementing blockchain. These same leaders shared concerns about how consortia are run, how decisions are made, and how profits are shared across memberships. These concerns can be exacerbated further based on geographic, namely cross border, and industry-specific governance. 

The 2020 Global Blockchain Survey

Deloitte conducted the survey between Feb. 6, 2020 and March 3, 2020, polling a sample of 1,488 senior executives and practitioners in 14 countries and territories (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States). The full report can be found here.

Source: Deloitte Consulting LLP


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