PwC report indicates 82% of SG firms prepped for blockchain initiatives

According to a latest report by PwC, 82% of executives in Singapore have reported that blockchain initiatives are underway in their organisations. Out of which, 13% have brought the initiatives live to the market.

The Global Blockchain Survey 2018 report highlighted that blockchain offers transparency and traceability for business processes, and reduces cost while increasing speed and reach for organisations. Research firm Gartner also forecasts that blockchain initiatives can  generate an annual business value of more than US$3 trillion by 2030.

Greg Unsworth, digital business leader at PwC Singapore said that with the intense interest on the potential of blockchain developments, those surveyed indicated that "no one wants to be left behind" in this line of business. He echoed that transparency and traceability, along with other capabilities blockchain is able to provide is beneficial to business processes.

“The business case can be compelling if organisations understand what their end game is in using the technology, and match that to their design,” Unsworth said. Blockchain can be further developed and delivered through shared industry wide platforms. However, this is only possible with industry specific companies agreeing on common standards and operating together, the report said.

About 13% of Singapore organisations have brought blockchain live, and it is comparable to the global rate of 15%.

In addition, a quarter of executives surveyed have said that blockchain implementation is in "pilot in progress" stage in Singapore (13%). Globally, it stands at 10% for blockchain initiatives that are currently in "pilot in progress" stage. 23% of the executives in Singapore said that blockchain projects are in development, while a third of the global executives (32%) share the same response. 23% of local respondents added that the projects are still in research mode, while globally 20% echoed the same.

What's stopping blockchain adoption?

Despite the technology’s potential, respondents have identified lack of trust among potential users as one of the biggest blockers to blockchain’s adoption. This is especially so in Singapore at 57% (compared to 45% globally) of respondents identifying it as a top three blocker to blockchain adoption.

Lack of trust among potential users was found to be the highest in Singapore, with 37% of respondents ranking it as the top concern (compared to 25% globally), followed by Hong Kong (35%) and UAE (34%). In addition, another potential barrier to blockchain adoption is regulatory uncertainty according to half (50%) of the respondents in Singapore and 48% of global respondents.

“Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn. Failing to state a clear business case from the outset leads to projects stalling. Businesses need to put more effort into building into their design how they can tackle trust and regulatory concerns," Unsworth said.

He added:

Creating and implementing blockchain, to realise its potential, is not an IT project.

"Blockchain is a transformation of business models, roles, and processes. It needs a clear business case, an ecosystem to support it; with rules, standards and flexibility to deal with regulatory change built in," he said.

Globally, one in three of those respondents who reported little or no involvement with blockchain cited the reason for a lack of progress as cost (31%), uncertainty over where to start (24%) and governance issues (14%).

The PwC Global Blockchain Survey 2018 saw responses from 600 executives in 15 countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, India, China, Japan, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, UAE, UK, and the US.