Report urges caution on the benefits of blockchain


New research has pointed to the fact that very, very few companies have actually adopted blockchain technology – which underpins the likes of digital currencies such as Bitcoin – and that this caution is quite correct, given that the near-term benefits of the tech are seemingly overhyped.

The new report from Gartner, which sought out the opinions of CIOs across various industries, found that only 1% of those executives had witnessed any kind of blockchain adoption in their company.

And only 8% of those CIOs were actively experimenting with the technology, or planned some kind of implementation of it in the near future. That’s a fairly scarce level of interest, and indeed 77% of respondents said that their firm had no interest in blockchain, and no action planned to develop anything around the technology at all (at the moment – although just over half of those did say it was ‘on their radar’, so to speak).

And with all the noise that’s made about blockchain and how revolutionary it could potentially be – across many industries, not just virtual currencies – as mentioned, this points to an overhyping of the technology.

Therefore, Gartner argues, businesses should certainly be wary when it comes to considering how blockchain could fit into their operation.

Looking to tomorrow

David Furlonger, vice president and Gartner Fellow, commented: "It is critical to understand what blockchain is and what it is capable of today, compared to how it will transform companies, industries and society tomorrow."

Furlonger argues that the danger is companies could be sucked in by the hype, rush to invest in blockchain in a big way in these early days, and essentially be wasting that cash – and perhaps even sour the top brass on the whole idea, which could be dangerous when it does become more important down the line.

Furlonger added: "Blockchain continues its journey on the Gartner Hype Cycle at the Peak of Inflated Expectations. How quickly different industry players navigate the Trough of Disillusionment will be as much about the psychological acceptance of the innovations that blockchain brings as the technology itself."

None of this means blockchain isn’t important – far from it – what Gartner is saying is that it’s just about managing expectations in the shorter-term.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).