Editorial

Reuters: Are companies concealing their Blockchain failures?

A review of 33 projects involving large companies announced over the past four years and interviews with more than a dozen executives involved with them by the paper show the technology has yet to deliver on its promise

Posted 16 July 2019 by

Respected international business news service Reuters has added its considerable weight to the ‘sceptical’ side of the Blockchain debate.

It says it has contacted firms about 33 projects involving large companies announced over the past four years and interviewed a dozen US financial services executives involved with them – with the resulting showing “the technology has yet to deliver on its promise”.

And, it goes on, “At least a dozen of these projects, which involve major banks, exchanges and technology firms, have not gone beyond the testing phase, the review shows. Those that have made it past that stage are yet to see extensive usage.”

In one example, Nasdaq and Citigroup’s Blockchain system claimed at announcement two years ago would make payments of private securities transactions more efficient, and which Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman called “a milestone in the global financial sector”, did not get used as while it worked in testing, the cost to fully adopt it outweighed the benefits.

Blockchain, the service quotes a person close to that project stating, “is a shiny mirage” and its wide-scale adoption may still “take a while”.

The article goes on to quote other stakeholders who say this is less a story about failure, but slow evolution – one UBS-backed project, a digital cash system for financial transactions called Utility Settlement Coin, is expected to be commercialised only next year, after more than five years of work, for instance.

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