New Greenwich Associates Report Says Blockchain Integration Difficulty Tougher Than Expected

A report released Thursday by consulting firm Greenwich Associates found that implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) at the enterprise level has been harder than expected.

The report collected data from more than 200 executives who work on blockchain initiatives or dedicated blockchain companies. The main coiners surrounded hardware security, confidentiality, and scalability. 57% felt that blockchain adoption has been more challenging than initially thought.

It recognized that among the group of examined executives, there were a few agreements regarding what made the incorporation of the tech difficult, like scalability issues, security issues, the need for transactional confidentiality, and the payment component for transactions. When addressing scalability, 42% of respondents said that it is a major issue, 39% of respondents said it is a minor issue, and 19% said it is no issue at all. With regard to the CEO’s of blockchain-centric companies that were included in the survey, only 7% cited scalability as a major issue.

Richard Johnson, a vice president in Greenwich Associates' Market Structure and Technology group and the author of the report, suggests that this discrepancy could be due to a combination of factors. “Perhaps it's optimism on behalf of the blockchain companies and their technology,” he said, or “perhaps it represents the fact that a lot of the testing they have done has been in more of a demo environment. When you start connecting with the real world, that introduces latency and slows things down.”

Blockchain Adoption Continues

Notwithstanding there being some obvious challenges with realizing blockchain technology into existing infrastructure, it is still being widely adopted in order to increase operational efficiency and to reduce fraud and waste. The recent example of a widely-utilized blockchain-based system would be IBM’s Food Trust product, which uses the technology to track the origins and logistics of perishable food items. This system is already being utilized by major household corporations, including Tyson Foods, Nestle, Unilever, and Kroger.

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