Will blockchain transform the enterprise as promised?

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While some organisations and analysts see a huge amount of potential in blockchain, others are far more sceptical. Indeed, some optimists believe that the technology is merely experiencing the same scepticism that the Internet saw in the 1990s.

While this may be the case, it is evident that many companies are somewhat dubious towards the technology. Will distributed ledger technologies remain a pipe dream, or could blockchain transform the enterprise as promised?

Could blockchain transform the enterprise?

Blockchain has the ability to provide next-generation solutions for consumers, organisations, and regulators to interact and connect securely. By using a peer-to-peer network, the growing list of records is essentially resistant to data modification.

In a recent survey, over half of enterprises said that blockchain technology has become a critical priority this year. This is according to Deloitte, which also found that organisations are continuing to invest in blockchain initiatives.

83% of respondents also envisioned compelling use cases for blockchain, which amounted to an increase of 9% from the previous year. Above all, however, the report illustrated that "respondents’ overall attitudes toward blockchain have strengthened meaningfully."

Despite this, Reuters recently discovered that while organisations are investing in blockchain, the technology is yet to deliver benefits. In a review of 33 enterprise blockchain projects, at least dozen had not surpassed the testing phase.

Does blockchain have real-life applications?

While some companies are struggling to implement blockchain, a recent Zage report lists numerous real-time applications from 102 blockchain leaders. Indeed, Dan Weinberger, co-founder, and CEO of Morpheus Network, insisted that distributed ledger technology "has the same transformative power as the internet had in the early 1990s."

For example, Olga Mack from Quantstamp believes that some of the biggest opportunities for the technology are financial. "The automation produced by smart contracts opens up the potential for worldwide liquidity and trading of assets, so we expect that to continue," Mack said.

Tim Draper, Founder at Draper Associated, DFJ, and Draper University, also added that people are now using blockchain in everyday life. For Draper, the blockchain is a "perfect ledger," as it "keeps perfect information on Bitcoin use, and it keeps perfect information on any other form of data, too."

Draper also pointed out that some companies are using blockchain to secure everything from medical records to certification of education. However, COO at Nano Foundation George Coxon observed that "adoption of blockchain technology is undeniably still in an embryonic stage."

We are still in the early adoption stage

For Coxon, the vast majority of examples of real-world use are relatively low level, especially considering the technology's future potential. Miguel Palencia, CIO at QTUM Foundation, agreed that "we’re currently in the early stages of blockchain’s lifetime."

Nevertheless, Palencia added that this stage is also the "most interesting" as it allows early adopters to be a part of building blockchain's future. However, CIO at Apollo Capital, Henrik Andersson, also said that "it is important to recognise it is still early days."

As blockchain continues to evolve, early adopters will undoubtedly encounter a number of obstacles in relation to regulation and scalability. It is thus evident that blockchain needs to massively mature before mass adoption can occur in the enterprise.

Looking to embrace blockchain? Check out our podcast with Ruud Huisman, Marketing Strategist of Unibright, for some invaluable insights

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