US execs lack blockchain savvy reveals research

Latest research from Deloitte has revealed a distinct lack of knowledge among senior US executives on blockchain technology.
By Paul Walsh
Almost 40% of surveyed senior executives at large US companies have little or no knowledge about blockchain technology, according to latest research from Deloitte.

In an anonymous online survey of 308 ‘blockchain-knowledgeable’ senior executives at organisations with revenue of $500 million or more, 39% of senior US executives claimed they lacked knowledge of the technology.

In spite of such results, many of those surveyed still consider the technology as crucial for their company and industry with 55% believing that their organisation would be at a competitive disadvantage if it failed to adopt the technology.

“It is fair to say that industry is still confused to a degree about the potential for blockchain,” said David Schatsky, managing director at Deloitte.

“More than a quarter of surveyed knowledgeable execs say their companies view blockchain as a critical, top-five priority. But about a third consider the technology overhyped.”

Blockchain technology has been hailed by market participants as being the future of the industry, with the potential to streamline processes such as settlement, clearing and corporate actions.

Recent industry commentary has focused on how the technology can be implemented successfully among market participants.

Last month, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) warned in a report that the technology could render some processes in the trade lifecycle redundant while research from Euroclear warned that the post-trade environment was ‘not designed’ for the technology.

Other results from the Deloitte research revealed that there is a lack of industry consensus on the factors driving the growth of blockchain.

Over a third of respondents credit blockchain with the potential for improving systems operations, either by reducing costs or increasing speed while more than 37% cite blockchain’s superior security features as the main advantage of the technology.

In addition, 24% of executives surveyed highlight the potential for blockchain to enable new business models and revenue streams.

“This diversity may be a testament to the versatility of the technology,” said Schatsky.

“But it is likely also a reflection of the fact that, despite the hype, the impact that blockchain will likely have on businesses in various industries is not yet fully understood.”