Blockchain, once regarded with skepticism, has emerged as a powerful and transformative technology with vast potential for enterprises worldwide. Governments and global corporations are increasingly open to adopting and implementing blockchain solutions across various sectors. As the world recognizes blockchain’s capabilities, its strategic importance in 2023 is evident, standing alongside artificial intelligence as a technology that promises to shape the future. A report by Markets and Markets predicts that the global blockchain market will generate revenue exceeding USD 94 billion by 2027, growing at a remarkable CAGR of 66.2%.
Blockchain’s global appeal
Countries around the world, including El Salvador, Portugal, Singapore, Malta, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Korea, Japan, and India, have actively embraced blockchain technology. Their enthusiasm for blockchain, even in the face of alternatives like non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies, underscores its potential value. As a 2018 McKinsey report titled “Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value?” aptly stated, blockchain offers strategic advantages to companies, enabling cost reduction without disintermediation and the creation of new business models. Five years later, blockchain’s capabilities continue to impress, driving governments and corporations to place their bets on this transformative technology.
The foundational nature of blockchain
R. Vivekanand, President of BFSI Products and Platforms at TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), aptly compares blockchain to foundational technologies like 3G and 4G. Foundational technologies require time to reach their full potential, relying on the development of killer applications to drive their adoption. Blockchain is no exception, and it is gradually revealing its foundational nature. Vivekanand, who leads TCS’s Quartz project, which focuses on leveraging blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and AI, emphasizes that blockchain’s advancement is a result of both push and pull factors.
Three compelling reasons to bet on enterprise blockchain
1. Frictionless transactions with enhanced trust
Blockchain’s true power becomes evident when it extends beyond individual enterprises, especially in non-financial services. Traditional processes often lead to inefficiencies and a lack of trust, resulting in friction between organizations. Blockchain’s distributed ledger nature inherently creates trust. Vivekanand explains that friction translates to losses, and blockchain is poised to eliminate this friction by enabling trusted, transparent, low-risk, real-time, and immutable transactions. Trust is a vital ingredient for seamless collaboration between organizations, and blockchain acts as the catalyst for its cultivation. In a world where time equates to risk and loss, blockchain ensures cash flows smoothly, minimizing delays and losses.
2. Synergy with artificial intelligence
The synergy between blockchain and artificial intelligence holds immense promise. While Predictive AI combined with blockchain is already potent, the potential of Generative AI remains untapped. Blockchain’s ability to securely store vast amounts of data can be harnessed by AI to derive valuable insights and predictions. By leveraging AI technologies, blockchain can break down barriers to broader adoption and reduce the costs associated with implementation. This combination holds the potential to drive innovation and increase the effectiveness of enterprise blockchain solutions.
3. Facilitating transformational applications
Beyond specific use cases, blockchain’s real value emerges when it facilitates transformative applications. Vivekanand emphasizes that business cases hold more weight than use cases. Tokenization of assets, for example, has the potential to drive liquidity in financial markets. Quartz, TCS’s blockchain solutions project, spans multiple industries, including Metaverse, DeFi (Decentralized Finance), CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), Track and Trace, Record Keeping, and ESG/Sustainability. The power of blockchain lies in its ability to create solutions that intersect various industries, requiring the involvement of C-suite executives to promote adoption.
Blockchain has transcended its early skepticism and is now recognized as a transformative force in the enterprise world. Its potential to remove friction, seamlessly integrate with AI, and enable transformational applications makes it a technology worth betting on. As blockchain continues to evolve, governments, corporations, and innovators have the opportunity to reimagine a future that harnesses the full potential of this foundational technology. The technology is ready, and the future is waiting to be created.