Befuddled by blockchain? What to consider before diving in

Everest Group looked at what companies should consider before rushing to embrace the much-hyped distributed ledger technology. While some companies could see serious cost-savings, for others, it might be a bust.

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Blockchain, perhaps best known for underpinning its better-known progeny, Bitcoin, is a rapidly evolving technology that remains something of a mystery for IT shops and in boardrooms.

The distributed ledger technology seemed to take off in 2017, with everyone from IBM to J.P. Morgan and countless smaller companies rushing to embrace it. Other firms hammered IT vendors with questions about the technology and how it could be used.

Deciding when and why your company might want to roll out a blockchain transactional ledger remains something of a risky move; many early adopters could wind up spending a lot of time and money on something that ultimately provides them with little to no benefit, according to a new report from Everest Group, Unblocking Blockchain Adoption- a Prioritization Framework for Business Processes.

Banking and financial services were the first to embrace blockchain ledgers – no surprise given that their core business functions are ideally suited to its distributed nature, transparency and immutability as a system of record.

In addition, those same industries have to rely on establishing trust between transaction participants, an often time-consuming and high-friction process due to central administration, a large number of intermediaries, and regulatory oversight that can sometimes span continents.

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