Regulatory Uncertainty And Trust Are Barriers To Blockchain Adoption, Says PwC

Blockchain, News | August 28, 2018 By:

Regulatory uncertainty and trust are major obstacles to widespread blockchain adoption, according to a study published by ‘Big Four’ auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

In a new study titled “Blockchain is here. What’s your next move?,” PwC surveyed 600 executives in 15 countries and territories, on blockchain development and views on the technology’s potential. According to the study, four in five executives around the world, which represent 84 percent of respondents, have blockchain initiatives in progress, 25 percent of which have fully live blockchain implementations or launched pilot projects.

Among the respondents, 48 percent said regulatory uncertainty is the biggest barrier to wider business adoption. 45 percent believe trust could delay adoption, and 44 percent noted the inherent difficulty of bringing a network-based business together.

“Businesses tell us that they don’t want to be left behind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its development, concerns on trust and regulation remain,” said Steve Davies, blockchain leader at PwC. “Blockchain, by its very definition, should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn. For one, users must build confidence in the technology itself. As with any emerging technology, challenges and doubts exist around blockchain’s reliability, speed, security and scalability. And there are concerns regarding a lack of standardisation and the potential lack of interoperability with other blockchains.”

The US (29%) and China (18%) were identified by respondents as leading markets for blockchain development. However, within three to five years, respondents believe the center of influence and activity will shift to China (30%), overtaking the US (18%). Sectors identified by respondents with emerging potential within the same timeframe include include energy and utilities (14%), healthcare (14%) and industrial manufacturing (12%).

“Policy makers in some jurisdictions seem more supportive of the innovative applications of blockchain and are creating regulatory environments that allow incubators to develop new applications,” said Alison Kutler, strategic policy advisers leader at PwC. “The results of these highly experimental environments for blockchain-based commerce will be critically influential for expanding policies to more geographic areas and industries.”