A new report from R3 paints an optimistic picture for
enterprise blockchain initiatives, with companies learning more around how the
technology works and delivery increasing.
The report, titled ‘Blockchain: 2020 Vision’, argues that
delivery issues, rather than disillusionment, led to the slowdown. In other
words, putting these things together takes time; companies who have been
working on privacy, performance, and enterprise integration in 2018 and 2019
will see success in 2020.
“A sense of ‘pragmatic realism’ will prevail in production,
with real-world engineering principles increasingly being applied both to
blockchain technology developments, and to the governance arrangements that
bind consortia and their networks together,” the report notes. “Successful
participants will have more realistic expectations about interoperability,
infrastructure, network permissioning, and the actual level of decentralisation
required to appropriately balance responsibility and control.”
As a result, R3 argues that companies will become ‘smarter
customers’ for blockchain projects. This is to be expected as organisations
learn from previous initiatives; the report notes that a better understanding of
public or permission-less, versus private and permissioned platforms needs to
take place in the context of privacy. This is similar advice to that advocated
by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at
the start of this year; noting that enterprises have especially complex
systems, a hybrid approach may be beneficial.
“Understanding who in a network decides which transactions
get confirmed and stay confirmed will help to focus enterprise blockchain
thinking in 2020,” the R3 report noted.
While the financial and logistics sectors have provided the most
attention, R3 noted that healthcare, pharmaceuticals, telco, automotive and
more are gaining traction as a wider part of the supply chain. The report
predicts that providers who have built sector-specific supply chain
applications will apply the same principles to serve other industries. For instance,
track and trace applications in food could also be applied to asset tracking in
aviation supply chains.
“Now that proven applications exist, they will be applied
across sectors, increasing the pace of innovation in other industries,” the
You can read the full report here (pdf, no opt-in required).
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