According to the Deloitte 2018 global blockchain survey, almost 39% of the respondents were of the view that blockchain technology was ‘overhyped’.
In the study in which over 1,000 blockchain-savvy executives at firms boasting annual revenues of $0.5 billion or more in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France and China were polled, this perception was stronger in the world’s largest economy.
“Despite enterprise digital respondents’ interest in blockchain’s capabilities, nearly 39 percent of the broad global sample said they believe blockchain is “overhyped.” In the United States, this number is higher: 44 percent of respondents view blockchain as overhyped, up from 34 percent in a 2016 survey by Deloitte,” notes the survey.
In the opinion of the big-four accounting firm, part of the reason for this perception was the steep rise in the values of tokens in the last one and a half years with the respondents conflating decentralized ledger technology with tokens which are just the incentive layer of public blockchains. Additionally, this could be a reflection of a shift towards pragmatism in the blockchain arena.
No Cause for Worry
However, Deloitte assured that this was not an indication that blockchain technology was headed in the wrong direction.
“Because we are still early in blockchain’s development, these fits and starts in its maturation are not surprising,” the survey noted.
This was supported by the fact that investments in blockchain technology continue to increase with the percentage of firms investing $10 million or more in blockchain technology being in the double digits according to the same survey. In the United States, 13% of the respondents revealed that their companies were allocating $10 million or more in blockchain technology this year while in the United Kingdom it was 15%.
Mexico and France recorded the highest percentage of firms making significant investments at 21% and 20% respectively. China and Canada tied at 18% while at 12% Germany recorded the lowest number of firms intending to invest $10 million or more in disruptive technology.
Blockchain’s Unique Selling Proposition
When asked what significant advantage blockchain possessed over current systems, 32% of the respondents said it was speed while 28% said it possessed the potential to spur new business models as well as new revenue sources. About 16% said it helped in cutting costs while 21% said it enhanced security and reduced risk.
Compared to conventional technologies and systems, 84% of the respondents said blockchain was more secure. Only 8% said it was less secure while 8% were unsure.
Of all the existing blockchain models, the most popular one among business organizations was permissioned blockchain with 52% of the respondents saying this is what their firm was focusing on. Public blockchains and private blockchains had an equal share with 44% of respondents in each case disclosing this is what they were concentrating on. Around 36% of the respondents indicated they had their sights on the consortium blockchain model.
Rubber Meets the Road
In the survey, Deloitte noted that momentum has also shifted from a focus on learning and exploration to the identification and development of practical business applications.
“While blockchain is not quite ready for primetime, it is getting closer to its breakout moment every day,” said the report authored by Deloitte’s David Schatsky, Linda Pawczuk and Rob Massey.