Blockchain deployments shift into high gear

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017.

A new study published by Juniper Research confirms that nearly 6 in 10 (57%) large corporations are either actively considering, or are in the process of, deploying blockchain technology. Moreover, amongst companies that have reached the PoC (Proof of Concept) stage, two-thirds (66%) expect blockchain to be integrated into their systems by the end of 2018.

“For financial technology (FinTech) start-ups in the blockchain space, this can only be good news, since it demonstrates the high level of demand within an enterprise space that is increasingly well-informed about blockchain,” Dr. Windsor Holden, blockchain specialist at Juniper, told CNBC.

“Essentially, blockchain offers particular benefits to improve efficiency and corporate transparency; if an enterprise is heavily dependent upon paper-based storage and has high volumes of transactions or transmitted information, it can be especially effective.”

Nevertheless, Holden also cautioned that companies might seek to deploy blockchain without having first considered alternative options.

“In many cases, systemic change, rather than technological, might be a better and cheaper solution than blockchain, which could potentially cause significant internal and external disruption,” he explained.

To be sure, the above-mentioned study found that companies may have underestimated the scale of the blockchain challenge. Specifically, for issues such as interoperability, the proportion of survey respondents expressing concerns progressively increased as companies proceed towards full deployment, while concerns also rose sharply regarding client refusal to embrace blockchain.

Indeed, as Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani noted earlier this year in the Harvard Business Review, true blockchain-led transformation of business and government is still likely many years away.

“That’s because blockchain is not a ‘disruptive’ technology, which can attack a traditional business model with a lower-cost solution and overtake incumbent firms quickly. Blockchain is a foundational technology: It has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems,” Iansiti and Lakhani emphasized. “While the impact will be enormous, it will take decades for blockchain to seep into our economic and social infrastructure. The process of adoption will be gradual and steady, not sudden, as waves of technological and institutional change gain momentum.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, blockchain is a shared digital ledger collectively updated and maintained by its enrolled users, which enables parties to transact with each other in a completely transparent manner. Each transaction is public and its details, together with the time and date, are unanimously verified by the other users on the network. Since there is no mediator between parties, completing a transaction becomes cheaper and simpler to achieve.

Security is ensured due to complex cryptographic rules that prevent any single participant from updating the system without seeking validation from the network. This makes the system immune to manipulation as inconsistencies are automatically identified and rejected. Since no single participant holds a master copy of the ledger (multiple copies are simultaneously updated by different participants), no single party can take full operating control. These factors ensure that the system maintains its integrity without the oversight of a centralized authority