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To blockchain or not to blockchain, that is the hackneyed question…
Two seemingly conflicting studies were published recently: one calculates that blockchain investments in the first half of 2018 already surpassed blockchain investments in the entirety of 2017, and the other determines that 90% of blockchain projects in Corporate America will never become functional. So what’s going on?
According to the reputable auditing company KPMG (PDF), which is considered to be one of the “Big Four” auditors, investments in U.S. blockchain projects during the first half of 2018 already exceeded the amount invested in all of 2017. KPMG estimates that there are several factors which can be ascribed to the massive surge in blockchain investments, surprisingly related mostly to traditional financial institutions (although the technology can be easily implemented elsewhere as well):
Blockchain’s capabilities extend from recordkeeping and the registration of transactions to documentation management and supply chain management. While it has primarily been looked at from a banking and insurance point of view to date, the reality is blockchain opportunities abound and could enhance processes for any number of US and global businesses.
The report also notes how blockchain becomes a priority in the European Union, and specifically how 22 members of the EU signed a “Declaration on the Creation of a European Blockchain Partnership,” which is designed to promote partnerships of blockchain-focused projects across the continent.
However, according to a different study, things are not too glamorous for blockchain initiatives. The market research company Forrester Research estimates that nine out of ten blockchain-related projects in the U.S. are doomed to failure and will not become viable and serviceable. The report cites Nasdaq Inc. as a long-time proponent of blockchain that still doesn’t employ the technology in a large scale. Other companies that invest in blockchain are reportedly having troubles and technical issues with matters regarding performance, oversight and operations.
The report also details that the biggest blockchain spenders are IBM (32% of the amount of all blockchain investments) and Microsoft (19%), which together account for over half of all blockchain spending.
So how can the two studies coexist? Does it mean that one of the studies is flawed and false? Or perhaps both? Well, not necessarily. The two studies can actually coincide, and to a degree they even complement each other. Blockchain is a new infant technology whose usages and types of utilization are still utterly unclear, even though the potential is clearly tremendous. Thus, multitudinous companies do experiment and explore this new technology, and many also fall short – that’s just the lamentable nature of new technologies. But, remember, as so many tech giants have proven in the past (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, just to name a few) – sometimes all it takes is just one brilliant idea and one half-decent implementation to completely change the world.