Management & legal News

EY survey: 68% of APAC businesses say lack blockchain understanding


Yesterday EY published survey results on the perception of blockchain in the Asia-Pacific region, revealing a lack of confidence in and understanding of the technology.

Ultimately, Asian-Pacific firms do not trust blockchain. Of the companies that participated in the survey, 68% estimate that the biggest obstacle to blockchain adoption is a lack of education and understanding of the technology amongst boards and executives.

Moreover, 66% of respondents think they need a more robust understanding of how blockchain can benefit their organizations, as well as the risks involved, before considering implementing it.

This shaky understanding is further revealed by the two most widely held misconceptions amongst Asian-Pacific respondents regarding blockchain.

46% of participants believe that blockchain “is a trust-less system and does not require a central authority”.

While this is the case for permissionless blockchains, it is not so for permissioned enterprise blockchains, which require a central authority. Companies with little blockchain knowledge may well be basing what they do know on mainstream media, which is likely to relate to Bitcoin technology.

The other misconception concerns the security of the technology. 43% of participants held the view that “blockchain is not as ‘unhackable’ as they say it is”.

Rather than the risk of being hacked per se, the risk when using a Proof-of-Work algorithm is that of a 51% Attack. Again, this risk can be limited within a permissioned blockchain.

Also, many of the high profile hacks one hears about relate to exchanges rather than blockchain. A blockchain is a kind of database, and it’s often what sits on top of the database where vulnerabilities arise.

Jimmy Ong EY Asia-Pacific Blockchain Leader explained: “While the database may be ‘immutable’, the applications on top of it may not be. Blockchains will do for networks of companies and enterprise ecosystems, what an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) does for a single company.”

EY Asia-Pacific Assurance Blockchain Leader Adam Gerrard emphasizes the need for firms to educate themselves concerning blockchain before considering any implementation. They must obtain a “thorough understanding of (and necessary education around) the intended objectives of implementation – the risks, and of course, the expected benefits.”

According to a recent survey by Stack Overflow, an online hub for developers, 20% of organizations were using blockchain technology. Nonetheless, the survey indicated confidence about blockchain potential going forward: 67.6% of respondents believe the technology is useful.

IHS Markit are also bullish about blockchain’s future. They predict a $2 trillion market by 2030.

Below are recent blockchain surveys:
Accenture: blockchain for aerospace
Boston Consulting Group: blockchain for transport and logistics
Cap Gemini blockchain survey
Deloitte 2019 blockchain survey
Deloitte 2018 blockchain survey
EY blockchain (finance and tech professionals) survey
EY fintech adoption survey
IDC semi-annual enterprise blockchain forecast
IHS Markit survey
KPMG technology industry innovation survey
PwC blockchain survey
PwC China blockchain survey
World Energy Council / PwC blockchain survey
SAP blockchain survey
TD Bank payments industry survey
BNY Mellon payments survey
Friss insurance survey
Juniper enterprise blockchain survey
BIS Central Bank Digital Currency survey
IBM / OMFIF Central Bank Digital Currency survey
ING general population cryptocurrency attitudes