Blockchain is making waves in some of the biggest industries on earth. A recent study done by “Big Four” Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) called, “Blockchain is here. What’s your next move?” talked to more than 600 executives about blockchain, and their opinions on where the technology will go next. Unsurprisingly for such a new technology, many executives responded they faced uncertainty in many areas of blockchain technology.
Steve Davies, the blockchain leader at PwC, had this to say after the report was published,
“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. Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn.”
The top three barriers to blockchain adoption, according to the report, are regulatory uncertainty, lack of trust among users, and ability to bring a network together. It is easy to see why regulatory uncertainty is plaguing the adoption of blockchain, as it is a technology that was virtually unheard of just a few years ago.
A massive lack of talented blockchain professionals has also been challenging to companies that have been slow to move into the blockchain space. In fact, the lack of talent may eliminate companies that are late to begin blockchain programs from the sector in the long-run. The blockchain development space is extremely competitive, both at a corporate and national level.
PwC Respondents May Be Overlooking Strategic Factors
There probably aren’t going to be hundreds of unique blockchain platforms in a decade’s time. There is a tremendous advantage to be gained by fostering blockchain development hubs, and pushing out platforms that could replace archaic systems that are in use today.
The government of Hong Kong appears to understand the importance of attracting talent. A few days ago they announced that blockchain is now on their Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), which allows professionals to settle in Hong Kong without an existing job at a local company.
Hong Kong listed the new jobs that would qualify for their QMAS program as such,
“innovation and technology experts in, but not limited to, … artificial intelligence, robotics, distributed ledger technologies, biometric technologies and industrial/chemical engineering, etc.”
They went on to describe why the program exists in no uncertain terms,
“The Scheme is a quota-based entrant scheme. It seeks to attract highly skilled or talented persons to settle in Hong Kong in order to enhance Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness.”
It is probably not a coincidence that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced a program that would potentially replace the trade finance system that is used by some of Asia’s largest banks over last month. The Financial Services and Treasury of Hong Kong released a report that was positive on cryptocurrency, and didn’t identify them as a threat.
There is No Lack of Investment
In Singapore, another leading Asian blockchain development hub, Terra just raised $32 million for its Project Terra, which they see as the next generation of online money. They think that a digital currency that is based on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology will be a big hit, and Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Translink Capital, Hashed, 1kx, Arrington XRP, Kenetic Capital, all seem to agree with them.
Terra also attracted interest from Dunamu & Partners, Binance Labs, Huobi Capital, and Okex, among which one would find four of the six largest crypto exchanges. This is just one multi-million deal in a context of billions of dollars, which puts firms that are ‘worried’ about investing in blockchain in a rather unenviable position.
Interestingly, many of the respondents in the PwC report saw a shift of blockchain development from the USA to China. Even with China proper taking a harsh stance against cryptos, it would appear that other Asian destinations are more than capable of filling in any digital monetary development gaps. Over the coming years there will probably be a division into providers and clients of blockchain technology, with the former being far more preferable from a competitive standpoint than the latter.