Regulatory complexity is the greatest barrier to widespread blockchain adoption, while regulatory changes are the primary driver of broader integration, according to EY poll

London, 6 June 2018

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  • 61% of respondents say complex regulation is the primary barrier to widespread blockchain adoption
  • EY outlines four transitions for blockchain as it matures into a standard enterprise tool

Regulatory complexity is having a significant impact on widespread blockchain adoption, according to an EY poll of senior professionals who attended the EY Global Blockchain Summit in New York. Sixty one percent see regulatory complexity as the biggest barrier to widespread adoption, followed by integration with legacy technology (51%) and a lack of general understanding of blockchain’s capabilities (49%).

Despite regulatory complexity, respondents cite changes to regulation as the primary driver for the integration of blockchain technology into the broader enterprise ecosystem (37%), followed by adoption of blockchain as a digital currency by top companies (23%) and acceptance of the technology among central banks (18%).

Paul Brody, EY Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain Technology, says:

“As blockchain platforms become more mainstream, putting a robust governance model in place will be key. This coupled with establishing best practices for reviewing the integrity of cryptocurrencies and their applications can help build trust in the company’s underlying assets, ensuring stakeholder voices are heard and ultimately instilling greater investor confidence. To meet clients’ needs, EY recently announced the pilot of the EY Blockchain Analyzer, a suite of blockchain audit technologies that enhances the ability to perform in-depth reviews of cryptocurrency business transactions.”

US to experience greatest surge of blockchain adoption globally

The poll also revealed that the US is expected to see the greatest adoption of blockchain globally within the next two years. Almost one-third of respondents (28%) expect the US to experience the highest surge, far ahead of China which ranked second with 18%. Japan (13%) and the UK (12%) came further behind in third and fourth positions.

Finance industry goes full speed ahead on blockchain adoption; EY announces four key blockchain transitions on the horizon

Organizations are making an active effort to integrate blockchain into their business functions as they look to reap the benefits of the technology, with 60% expecting the financial/professional services industry to see the most blockchain breakthroughs in the next two years. Within finance, 60% of respondents believe that the industry will gradually adopt blockchain technology within the next year, while a further 17% anticipate rapid adoption in this timeframe.

Respondents also stated that increased operational efficiencies is the main advantage of blockchain technology (28%), followed by a high level of transparency (18%) and trust in data integrity (16%).

With industry blockchain adoption expected to progress, EY announced today four upcoming transitions for the technology, which it anticipates will drive blockchain’s growth to become a standard enterprise tool.

Brody added, “As blockchain adoption ramps up, we see four transitions driving the technology’s maturity. These are, one, transitioning from private to public networks to create an open system for all users; two, shifting from synchronization to tokenization to improve accuracy and reduce risk; three, moving from cryptocurrency to tokenized fiat currency to transfer value on public networks; and four, shifting from parallel separate systems to integration with laws and regulation from central banks and governments. With these developments blockchain could become fully operationalized into enterprises, leading to a surge in applications across industries.”

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About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About the poll

On April 18, 2018, EY conducted a poll of senior finance and technology professionals at EY’s Global Blockchain Summit in New York, NY. The poll received a total of 83 responses from key industry targets, gauging their insights around blockchain implementation and trends.