Accounting and finance giant Deloitte published its “Tech Trends of 2018” report, where it detailed new business opportunities and problem-solving techniques via emerging technologies such as IoT, M2M learning and of course, blockchain.
“Tech Trends 2018″ included a section titled ” Blockchain to blockchains: Broad adoption and integration enter the realm of the possible .” Deloitte analysts stress Gartner’s prediction that distributed ledger technology’s business value-add will grow to $176 billion by 2025 , and the argument that blockchain technology is on a clear path toward broad adoption, with use cases of increasing scope, scale and complexity.
To illustrate its point, the 2018 Tech Trends article brings up several exciting real world adoption cases:
- Europe’s largest shipping port, Rotterdam, has launched a research lab to explore the technology’s applications in logistics.3
- Utilities in North America and Europe are using blockchain to trade energy futures and manage billing at electric vehicle charging stations.4
- Blockchain is disrupting social media by giving users an opportunity to own and control their images and content.5
- Blockchain consortiums—including the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Hyperledger Project, R3, and B3i—are developing an array of enterprise blockchain solution
According to the analysts, regardless of indsutry bias, blockchain use cases that feature a clear path to commercialization often stand a better chance of reaching production. This is all because of the almighty word ROI. Investors and shareholders might not understand nebulous tech jargon and concepts, but “potential ROI” will magically transform those abstract ideas into clear business opportunities that all can understand.
Despite what Jamie Dimon might have said in regards to bitcoin, sitting on the sidelines while other financial giants are experimenting with blockchain tech is not an option for JP Morgan Chase. As evidenced here, JP Morgan Chase invited technologists from around the world to collaborate to “advance the state of the art for distributed ledger technology”, to create a project dubbed “Quorum”.
“People are starting to understand blockchain’s broader applications and how it can link various parties; it’s a distributed ledger and therefore, by definition, requires cooperation by participants. Like any century-old organization, we’ve adapted to our industry’s changing needs and problems, and we see blockchain’s potential applications.”
–Peter Miller, President and CEO of the Institutes
Deloitte also identifies three types of risks associated with blockchain. Common risks, value transfer risks and smart contract risks.
Common risks are identified thusly: Blockchain technology exposes institutions to similar risks associated with current business processes—such as strategic, regulatory, and supplier risks—but introduces nuances for which entities need to account.
Value transfer risks refer to the need of participants to protect themselves against risks previously managed by central intermediaries. In the case of a blockchain framework, evaluate the choice of the protocol used to achieve consensus among participant nodes in the context of the framework, the use case, and network participant requirements
Smart contract risks, on the other hand, occur because smart contracts can encode complex business, financial, and legal arrangements on the blockchain, so there is risk associated with the one-to-one mapping of these arrangements from the physical to the digital framework. Additionally, cyber risks increase as smart contracts rely on “oracles” (data from outside entities) to trigger contract execution
Deloitte’s Assessment of Blockchain’s global impact
Deloitte leaders across 10 global regions see varying levels of certainty around the anticipated impact that the technology could have on financial services, manufacturing, supply chain, government, and other applications. The analysts acknowledge that while blockchain technology is maturing, certain conditions must be align “just right” for the tech to take wing and realize its full potential.
Certain regions in the world still lag behind others, waiting for regulations to catch up with blockchain’s recent astronomical boom. The Middle East, while bullish on blockchain’s potential—Dubai has announced its intention to be the first blockchain-powered government by 2020, for example —finds itself in the very early phases of adoption, to quote the article.
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