Fifth of business leaders think blockchain is 'all hype'

A fifth of business leaders think blockchain is 'all hype' as negative sentiment starts to creep in following the collapse of B3i, GlobalData says.

More than a fifth of business leaders think that blockchain is “all hype and no substance”, according to a survey from market research company GlobalData.

The firm asked more than 350 leaders about various emerging technologies, including blockchain. But it was artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and cloud computing which solicited the most positive responses, with over half of respondents saying they would live up to their expectations.

In contrast, only 21.8% thought the same about blockchain, casting further doubt over commercial applicability of the technology in the wake of the collapse of the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i). Almost one third (32.4%) of respondents say their sentiment towards blockchain is more negative than it was a year ago.

Negative sentiment towards blockchain 'creeping in'

Benjamin Hatton, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Whilst blockchain and distributed ledger technology is certainly complex, uses have emerged in the insurance industry, notably in parametric insurance for natural disasters and catastrophes. B3i consisted of many key players in the (re)insurance industry. That none of them seem to have the impetus to revive the project suggests many do not see a viable endgame to the initiative."

After several years of hype, negative sentiment around blockchain appears to be creeping in, GlobalData claims. As well as the scepticism expressed by respondents, over 20% say they are unsure whether blockchain will live up to its billing, suggesting that a certain amount of uncertainty remains about its use.

“Blockchain has often been a poorly defined and misunderstood topic,” Hatton continues. “Its association with the world of cryptocurrencies and digital assets has left it with a poor reputation among many people.

“Although this may set back the development and implementation of blockchain in insurance, use cases will remain and continue emerging in the future. As regulation is gradually introduced and strengthened within the space, some firms may get the confidence in the technology they need to reconsider the power of blockchain.”

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