The PwC China blockchain survey found that 52 percent of people believed that blockchain would have a significant impact on business and 44 percent some impact.
The data comes from the 2018 Market Survey Report for (Non-financial) Application of Blockchain in China jointly published by VeChain and PwC.
These results were even more optimistic than Deloitte’s 2018 survey which found that 43 percent said blockchain was a critical priority and 29 percent thought it was important.
Both consultants’ surveys contrast with a more conservative outcome from Gartner published two weeks ago. They found only 9 percent were working on or planning action in the short term. Another 14 percent were planning activity in the medium term. A high 34 percent had no interest, and 43% said it was on the radar with no action planned.
The survey found that people’s understanding of blockchain had an impact on their attitude towards the topic. Those with some experience applying blockchain were far more optimistic about its potential.
Specifically, 85.7 percent of those with experience were optimistic and 84.2 percent of those in the blockchain industry. Compared to 48.4 percent of people with a basic understanding showing optimism.
Most of the experienced group are likely to be ‘early adopters’ who are known to be optimistic.
This is further borne out by their questions about specific applications. The report outlined six uses cases they queried, including traceability, distributed data storage, and supply chain management.
For all the use cases mentioned, no experienced blockchainers said the use case was useless though a small percentage said the usefulness was unclear.
VeChain is involved primarily in product traceability but also supply chain, and some respondents were their clients. Amongst experienced blockchainers, 33 percent were unclear about the usefulness of secure traceability. A full 100 percent were convinced supply chain is a useful application.
The reservations about traceability could relate to concerns about securely linking physical goods to their blockchain representation.
An interesting response related to industry sectors. 100 percent of those in retail believe blockchain would have a significant impact, compared to 45 percent in IT or high-tech and 47 percent in the service sector.
Getting started and roadblocks
For R&D the survey found 53 percent set up an internal blockchain team. A further 30 percent cooperated with startups, and 13 percent worked with well-known larger companies.
The main impediment to getting started is that management has not decided: 35 percent. A lack of industry standards accounted for almost 19 percent of respondents. A shortage of skills or understanding accounted for 16 percent each.
VeChain / PwC survey performed the survey in November and December, which is a while ago in blockchain time. Companies surveyed were clients of either VeChain or PwC. They received 130 questionnaire responses and held focus groups with another 40.