Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey has revealed that as many as 83% of organizations see compelling use cases for blockchain technology. 

The survey—whose results were shared publicly on May 6—polled a sample of 1,386 senior executives in 12 countries, at US-based companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue and non-US companies with at least $100 million. The survey was conducted between February 8 and March 4, and reveals a rapidly changing sentiment with regards to blockchain technology and its adoption.

Importantly, the view of blockchain’s relevance within organizations has seen a significant boost. 53% of respondents now see blockchain implementation as critical, or as a top-five strategic priority, a 10% jump from the 2018 survey (see below).

The survey results present a drastic change in sentiment for businesses.

Other responses reflect a similar change in attitude. For example, 83% of respondents see a compelling business case for blockchain, up 9% from last year. Similarly, 81% say they are planning to replace current systems of record with blockchain-based solutions.

Indeed, switching out current databases with immutable blockchain records is one use case, but by no means is it the most adventurous. Tracking supply chains, tokenizing assets, payment solutions, voting mechanisms and more; all present far more compelling use cases for enterprise blockchain technology than a simple database—but the survey itself does not go into any specifics. 

Interestingly, though, the number of respondents who considered blockchain an industry disrupting technology decreased from 59% to 56%, and those who deemed blockchain ‘overhyped’ also increased. It is arguable that these results simply reflect a maturing market; the hype of the 2017 bubble is receding, leading many to take a more practical and pragmatic approach to the technology.

Linda Pawczuk, Deloitte Consulting LLP and US blockchain leader, said:

“The tone and terms of the debates around blockchain are shifting, according to this year’s study, incorporating more use cases and strategic visions of the future. As the blockchain story continues to mature and begins a new chapter, we believe the question for executives is no longer ‘Will the technology work?’; but, ‘How can we make this technology work for us?'”

95% of all respondents see smart contracts as an important blockchain capability.

Serious Business

Of note is that the 2018 cryptocurrency bear market has not affected business opinion of blockchain technology in a negative way. Instead, as suggested by recent reports from Flipside Crypto; overall market health has only increased since 2017.

Many of the largest firms have already begun their exploration of blockchain. EY recently released a zero-knowledge proof protocol for Ethereum into the public domain. VeChain has seen significant investment from PwC and Deloitte.

Microsoft and JP Morgan, both founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, have been pursuing blockchain in their own way. Microsoft recently released a suite of tools that allow clients to build Ethereum-based applications on its Azure platform, and JP Morgan have launched their own in-house payment token.

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