28% of businesses experimenting with blockchain, but almost none run it in production

The Blockchain Codex from 451 Research explains how the ledger technology will change online transactions.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • 28% of enterprises are either evaluating or using blockchain technology, but only 3% are using the technology in production. - 451 Research, 2017
  • Fewer than 1% of companies using blockchain say that it's being used in a broad implementation for production applications. - 451 Research, 2017

While some 28% of enterprises are either evaluating blockchain technology or have begun using it, only 3% of these businesses are using blockchain in production, according to 451 Research data released Wednesday.

The data comes from 451 Research's Blockchain Codex 2017 report, which aims to explain the purpose of blockchain technology and how it can be used in business. The report also looks at top vendors in the space, and which companies are leading the charge.

The majority of those 28% of enterprises—20%—said that they are using blockchain in a discovery or evaluation phase. An additional 4% are running a blockchain trial or pilot, while 2% are using it in tech and dev environments.

SEE: Quick glossary: Blockchain (Tech Pro Research)

Some 2% of product users are starting their initial implementations of the technology in product apps. But fewer than 1% said they have broad implementation of production applications, the report noted.

"Blockchain will do for transactions what the Internet has done for information. It promises to disrupt business models and entire industries," 451 Research senior analyst Csilla Zsigri said in the report. "It allows for increased trust and efficiency, and is pushing us to challenge how we define and exchange value and reward participation."

All the hype around blockchain has created some problems, though. As noted in the report, there is rampant misunderstanding around what blockchain technology involves, and businesses are struggling to understand the real value of it. This has lead many firms to jump on the blockchain hype train, playing up their own implementation in an effort of what the report called "blockchain-washing."

Still, blockchain technology does hold real promise for improving certain enterprise systems and tools. Some examples provided by 451 Research were smart contracts, or a ledger for cloud tasking, for example. Blockchain could also be used to help authenticate and manage Internet of Things (IoT) devices at the edge.

As the blockchain market continues to grow, so do the opportunities for companies and tech professionals. Right now, the report noted a "scarcity of skills in blockchain technology and potential applications," which could open the door for third party experts to carve out a niche for themselves in blockchain implementations.

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Image: iStockphoto/NicoElNino

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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