After its release as open-source software in 2009, blockchain technology, powered by bitcoin, has enabled over 300 million digital transactions5, and an array of new cryptocurrencies have also emerged. Blockchains attained a 13.55% adoption rate by financial institutions in 2016, reaching the early adopter phase, according to Accenture. Looking to the future, 10% of world GDP could be stored on blockchain technology by 2025, according to a World Economic Forum, and by 2027 according to Deutsche Bank.6
Leading organizations in sectors including financial services, accounting, manufacturing, and economic development are testing myriad uses for blockchain technology:
- The “Big 4” accounting firms are all testing block chain technology (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler).
- Ernst & Young Switzerland allows customers to pay invoices in bitcoin, all EY Switzerland employees receive a digital wallet and a bitcoin ATM is installed at the firm’s headquarters.
- NASDAQ, The Swiss Stock Exchange, The German Stock Exchange, The Japan Stock Exchange, and The Australian Stock Exchange are all experimenting with blockchain applications.
- The Office of IT Schedule Contract Operations at the U.S. General Services Administration is using blockchain technology to speed up the FASt Lane process for IT Schedule 70 contracts.
- The United Nations is exploring applications of blockchain in a range of areas, from natural resource conservation to the protection of democratic systems. Divisions include the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
- 5 https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-total?timespan=all https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-total?timespan=all
- 6 World Economic Forum, Deep Shift Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact, 2015, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC15_Technological_Tipping_Points_report_2015.pdf Deutsche Bank, CIO Insights Reflections: Cryptocurrencies and blockchains