Blockchain is here

What’s your next move?

PwC surveyed 600 executives in 15 countries and territories on their development of Blockchain and views on its potential. Eighty-four percent of respondents say their organisations have at least some involvement with Blockchain technology - 15% report being fully live.

Results show that Financial Services (46%) is perceived to be the current and near-term future leader of Blockchain, but other industries are on the rise; Industrial products and manufacturing (12%) and Energy and utilities (12%).

The case for Belgium

While (at the time of writing) there’s no large-scale Blockchain application live in Belgium, there’s significant interest in a number of areas.

"I know of at least 50 initiatives in the public domain, so I imagine there to be many more under NDA (non-disclosure agreement), most of which are in proof of concept (POC). They’re driven by market players looking to see if distributed ledger technology (DLT) can solve a specific problem. Some have reached the minimal viable product (MVP) stage, but nothing in full production roll out yet," explains Walter Verbeke, Global Head of Business Model and Innovation - Euroclear Group.

He expects the real use cases in two to five years when, "DLT has been fully road tested and we better understand what it can do, where its real value sits and stable as well as scalable performance can be ensured." Walter Verbeke expects those cases to be in capital markets, either replacing or complementary to current solutions, supporting the survey’s findings of Financial Services continuing to lead in terms of interest in DLT.

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PwC’s Blockchain solutions

For FISMA, the directorate of the European Commission responsible for EU policy on banking and financial stability, PwC created two demonstrators. The first was on derivatives transactions reporting via smart contracts and the second on establishing a first implementation of the European Financial Transparency Gateway (EFTG).

In both cases, PwC was asked to investigate and demonstrate Blockchain as a solution. For the first case, you can see how it works in the video.

Biggest barriers to Blockchain adoption

According to our survey, the top barriers to adoption are regulatory uncertainty (48%) and lack of trust among users (45%). Notes Walter Verbeke, "With a shared distributed ledger, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. You therefore want those with you to be strong and have a robust IT environment, cyber defences and so on, to avoid hiccups which would have a ripple effect on the whole ledger."

For Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) such as those of the Euroclear Group, bringing trust is essential. "CSDs like Euroclear were created to bring safety and efficiency in capital markets. The DLT environment will need to be able to offer that same robust environment," he says.

PwC’s also assisting DG CNECT with a study on how to establish a European Blockchain backbone that would facilitate EU-wide solutions such as for recognition of diplomas, registries of official documents and cross-border anti-fraud measures, to name but a few.

Contact us

Ingvar Van Droogenbroeck
Partner, PwC Belgium
Tel: +32 2710 7204
Email

Marc Sel
Director, PwC Belgium
Tel: +32 3259 3410
Email

Fernand Dimidschstein
Partner, PwC Belgium
Tel: +32 2710 7236
Email

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