Deloitte’s Survey: “Blockchain is Getting Closer to its Breakout Moment” Prediction
Professional services firm, Deloitte has recently revealed the findings of its 2018 Global Blockchain Survey. According to the claims made, the results are sufficient to assess in what direction blockchain technology is and will be travelling, which has been broken down into different categories.
As for the survey itself, the sample size consisted of 1,053 senior executives in seven countries including Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom and U.S. The chosen participants supposedly had some prior knowledge on blockchain technology as well as their respective firms’ integration of the technology at hand.
Current Stance on Blockchain Technology
Based on the results, it seems that the chosen executives believe that blockchain technology is “overhyped”. It comes of no surprise that the country with the most individuals that believe so was from the U.S (44%), with nearly 39% of all participants holding this view.
Deloitte makes several cases as to why this might be so. First, blockchain technology’s association with tokens, where the latter has seen consecutive downward trending. Second, blockchain still remains in its development stages. Third, understanding the technology and assessing ways in which use cases can be established.
Blockchain Technology: “More Of A Business Model Than A Technology”
While blockchain technology has been praised for creating disruptions across multiple and diverse industries, at the end of the day, Deloitte states that without use cases, blockchain is nothing more than a “business model,” adding that the technology on its own is more or else meaningless.
Based on the survey results, it appears that interest for blockchain is present, however, its practical use is lagging. In particular, 74% of participants believe that the technology can change how they do their business, only 34% noted that their company implemented blockchain. Evidently, a high level of uncertainty still remains, as nearly 21% of global executives are still trying to understand what use case be established.
Big talk about blockchain technology seems to be a problem for the respondents, as many leaders and crypto investors have taken to many platforms to express their viewpoints. Unfortunately, the number of positively made opinions made outnumbers its practical use. According to Deloitte, this results in what they refer to as the “Blockchain Fatigue”, where “over-communication” hides the true abilities of blockchain technology.
The survey found that nearly 78 percent of executives believe that they might “stand to lose competitive advantage” if they do not enter the blockchain sector, however due to hindrances, namely that of unpredictable return on investments, they find it troublesome.
Advantages Of Blockchain Technology
Despite the uncertainty faced by the chosen participants, they still do view the blockchain technology in a positive light. It appears that nearly 32% of participants associate the technology with “greater speed”, 28% with “new business models” and merely 16% with “low costs”. While the last point is one that is mostly considered the most advantageous, a difference in cost usually is not witnessed right away, hence the 16% does seem accurate.
In terms of either creating or joining a consortium, 29% have since joined one, with 45% planning to do so and 13% thinking of creating one. Deloitte seems to be for consortium, as the firm was quoted sharing the benefits which, to them, include, “their shared costs, ability to create unified industry standards and advantages of scale.”
Overall, Deloitte’s survey does not seem to bring new insight on blockchain technology, but rather confirms existing beliefs, which include, “uncertainty of blockchain technology”, “lack of real use cases”, “belief that the technology can be disruptive”, etc. The findings and insights show that blockchain still remains in its development stages, and with the increased unpredictability in the type of returns it might bring, many companies are taking too long to implement it.
As for the survey itself, the sample size is appropriate and is representative of the population (as per the Central Limit Theorem), however, there is bias: the respondents are all senior executives, which may imply well-established firms. This more or less only represents a fraction of the blockchain sector, as such individuals are less likely to dive right into it.
Another arguable point is that the participants’ expertise level, as Deloitte noted them to having “at least a broad understanding of blockchain […] and able to comment on their organizations’ blockchain investment plans.” Not completely understanding the specs of blockchain can clearly hinder how one makes use of it, which in this survey can distort results.
Also, opinions of firms that have based their practices on blockchain technology from the very beginning would have helped to understand the case made on real-life use. Similarly, firms that have excelled in a short period of time can be asked as well, which could have been a counter argument for those doubting the return on investment.
What other directions could Deloitte have taken to completely represent blockchain distributed ledger technology? While many have boxed in blockchain, it was Bitcoin that gave it its first real use can and likely could remain is best as it looks to power an entire global financial infrastructure of fiat 2.0 type money around the world.