PwC’s State of the Blockchain, 2018

Blockchain survey - Bitcoin
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Fateful findings

PwC recently released its 2018 Global Blockchain Survey, giving us plenty of insight into the current state of blockchain technology and a glimpse at future trends. The survey discovered a great deal of blockchain adoption on some level but that a lack of trust has limited its use. The survey looked at 600 executives spread across 15 territories.

In addition to the information in the Global Blockchain Survey, PwC pinpointed a few key statistics that give us a snapshot of blockchain adoption:

  • 84 percent of survey respondents indicated that they are actively involved with the blockchain, at least at some level.
  • 45 percent believe that trust could lead to delays in adoption.
  • 30 percent of those surveyed feel that China is a rising leader in the blockchain.
  • 28 percent indicated that system interoperability is one of the keys for success.

The PwC survey also looked at how many companies were at each stage in blockchain adoption.

  • 14 percent have not taken any steps.
  • 20 percent are in the research stage.
  • 32 percent are in the development stage.
  • 10 percent are in the pilot stage.
  • 15 percent are using live technology.
  • The final 7 percent of companies are paused, with this figure including all stages of the process.
Blockchain survey - PwC building in Oslo
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Price Waterhouse Cooper building in Oslo. Image credit: By Bjørn Erik Pedersen – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Insights from Streamr

Given the results of the PwC blockchain survey, those with crucial roles in companies revolving around blockchain tech have shared their input. Shiv Malik is the head of strategy and communications with Streamr, a blockchain-backed data platform. Malik feels that people simultaneously underestimate and overestimate the impact of the blockchain on specific verticals. He pointed to the hype and investment within blockchain in the past few years combined with the fact that there have been few tangible results outside of fintech.

That financial services are the biggest group in blockchain adoption at 46 percent, while retail and consumer account for just 4 percent doesn’t surprise Malik. Even so, he expects blockchain to extend to these other areas in the future. Malik feels that for this to happen, people must develop realistic expectations so the transition to blockchain can be seamless.

Insights from Ultra

David Hanson is the co-CEO of Ultra, a blockchain-powered gaming distribution platform. Hanson pointed out that although we are in a bear market for crypto, the blockchain is innovative and lets us optimize and develop new systems. He is not surprised that 84 percent of the survey’s respondents have at least started using the blockchain, given that no one wants to get left behind.

Hanson also strongly feels that factors like the regulatory uncertainty and lack of trust are holding back blockchain tech. He does disagree slightly with the survey results, saying that no single country is leading the way for the blockchain at the moment; he feels it will be a global revolution.

Insights from Orvium

Manual Martin is the co-Founder and CEO of Orvium, an open-source decentralized platform targeting the sector of academic publishing. Martin reminded us that the attractiveness of blockchain technology comes down to its permanent, tamper-proof records that require no control from central authorities. He said this status will likely lead to future adoption.

Contra Martin, the most progress in the blockchain are coming from enterprise level companies, like IBM, who have their own proprietary blockchains that are in fact centrally operated. The ongoing difficulties of establishing a trustless system that is scalable and does not run on the onerous Proof of Work protocol are one reason for this. While blockchain may succeed in decentralizing our world, there is little doubt it will bolster reliability, accountability, and efficiency.


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