Investors are slated to provide a lot of support for the blockchain industry in 2018, but analysts largely agree that the technology remains in its early stages — even as more projects shift from concept phase into real-world working applications.
Expectations for the market are high. Analysts predict the industry will be worth $7.7 billion by 2022, a more than 31 percent increase from its current valuation. Further, more corporations and banks are taking steps to understand the technology and plan implementation. A look at the recent research into blockchain suggests 2018 will continue to be about making plans, though, not yet necessarily executing them. PYMNTS highlights some of the key statistics surrounding the potential of blockchain, and how enterprises plan to turn that potential into reality — eventually.
$7.7 billion: the valuation of the blockchain industry by 2022, according to Markets & Markets data. It's a huge jump from 2016's market valuation of $242 million, and reports said the technology isn't just creating new opportunities for startups, it's offering a chance for older tech companies like IBM and Microsoft to gain “new life,” as Jerry Cuomo, vice president of technology for IBM Blockchain, told Fortune last week.
$4.7 billion: the estimated value of investment in the U.S. FinTech market in 2018, according to analysis from Statista. While artificial intelligence (AI), B2B payments and consumer apps were all shortlisted as top targets of that funding, blockchain will see some of the largest backing from investors of all types, according to reports in American Banker last week.
72.6 percent of Chinese bankers expect to apply blockchain in the areas of payment and settlement, according to the Chinese Bankers Survey of 2017, reports said this week. Nearly 40 percent of bankers said the technology could be applied to electronic currency, and 16 percent said it could be useful for anti-money laundering efforts.
66 percent of large corporations expect blockchain to be integrated into their systems by the end of 2018, according to a Juniper Research survey released in in July. The report also found 57 percent of the nearly 400 executives surveyed said they are actively considering — or are already in the process of — deploying blockchain technology. Analysts noted the corporations that stand to gain the most from blockchain are those in need of transparency in their transactions, that currently rely on paper-based processes and legacy storage systems, and that handle a high volume of transmitted data.
21 percent of central banks expect to deploy blockchain technology either in 2018 or 2019, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which released the data in September. Researchers also found 82 percent of central banks exploring blockchain say they're doing so as part of broader considerations for deploying their own cryptocurrencies. More than half (55 percent) said they're looking at blockchain as it applies to payments.
13 percent of executives in the securities industry expect blockchain to have the most impact in their market in the next two or three years, according to research from Mediant released last week. There are innovations that the securities industry expects to have a larger impact, though, including machine learning and AI, cited by 30 percent of respondents as the technology likely to have the greatest impact. Still, nearly a quarter say blockchain will have the greatest impact in the next three to five years. When narrowing the survey to members of the banking industry, expectations for blockchain are (eventually) higher. While just 11 percent of bank respondents chose blockchain for the next two to three years, 44 percent said blockchain will become a large influencer in the next three to five.