A new survey conducted by leading professional services company PwC has shown that companies are increasingly looking to blockchain tech.

PwC’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey recorded responses from 600 executives across 15 territories – with 84% of those participating saying that their organizations were involved with the blockchain technology in some way According to the report:

Companies have dabbled in the lab; perhaps they’ve built proofs of concept. Everyone is talking about blockchain, and no one wants to be left behind.

The report also attributed the high interest in blockchain shown by organizations to the potential benefits they could derive from adopting the technology. It was suggested that a well-planned and developed blockchain that was truly distributed and immutable would take out intermediaries, save businesses money, increase their speed and widen their reach.

Specific figures on the benefits organizations can gain from adopting blockchain technology have been provided by Gartner Inc, a leading information technology research and advisory company.

Gartner expects that blockchain will create value of over $3 trillion by 2030. The IT research firm also anticipates that 10% to 20% of the world’s economic infrastructure will have been built on blockchain by then.

The results of the survey also showed a wide variation in the progress of the blockhain projects at different firms: While 20% of the organizations were now researching, 32% had blockchain projects at the development stage. Pilot programs are underway at 10% of the organizations and 15% had gone live with their projects.

For reasons unknown, 7% of the organizations had put their blockchain projects on hold. Significantly, the research showed that only  14% had nothing to do with blockchain.

Barriers to Adoption

Regulatory uncertainty was named as the main obstacle  to progress in the blockchain industry. Many jurisdictions worldwide are still in the process of learning what the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are and how best to regulate, implement and deal with their rapid proliferation.

Trust amongst users was another problem highlighted in the report. Most project leaders are faced with the daunting tasks of getting potential users to trust the security, reliability, speed, and scalability of their very new technology projects.

The irony of the lack of trust for a technology that was created to eliminate the need for trust was also highlighted: “It is perhaps ironic that a technology meant to bring consensus hits a stumbling block on the early need to design rules and standards.”

The current lack of blockchain interoperability, the ability of blockchains to interact with each other and issues relating to scaling anddesigning blockchains that can handle continued growth in user number and activity – were also concerns named in the report.

China to Take the Lead?

PwC learned from the survey that the respondents still perceived the U.S as the leading region in the blockchain industry. 29% of the respondents believed the U.S was the most advanced when it comes to developing blockchain projects. China came in second place with 18% respondents saying it was the most advanced region.

The respondents, however, expect China to take over as industry leaders within five years – with  30% predicting that China would be the industry leader by 2023 while 29% expect the U.S to maintain its lead.