2nd Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study

Michel Rauchs, Apolline Blandin, Keith Bear, and Stephen McKeon.

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The second edition of the Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study provides new insights into the current state of the enterprise blockchain ecosystem. The study gathers survey data from 160 start-ups, established companies, central banks, and other public-sector institutions from 49 different countries worldwide. The empirical analysis specifically focuses on enterprise blockchain networks that have entered in production.

Highlights from the report

  • The banking, financial markets and insurance industries are responsible for the largest share of live networks:
    The trend indicated in 2017 has continued: 43 per cent of enterprise blockchain networks deployed in production can be attributed to Financial Services, far ahead of any other sector and industry. The specific use case of a network can be at times difficult to identify, but supply chain tracking, trading infrastructure, and document certification seem to currently dominate.
  • Successful projects require a long-term perspective and commitment:
    Transforming critical market infrastructure takes longer than simple application development: the median enterprise blockchain project takes 25 months between the first proof-of-concept and being deployed in production, with some large-scale networks taking more than four and a half years for the full launch.
  • Founder-led networks between partnering organisations are prevalent:
    While much has been written about large-scale consortia developing new blockchain networks, 71 per cent of live networks have been initiated by a single founder leading the initiative. Eighty-eight per cent of deployed blockchains are designed for shared use between multiple independent entities, but the majority are restricting membership to partners: only 19 per cent are jointly operated by direct competitors.
  • Cost reduction is the main value proposition of live networks, but increasing revenue generation is expected in a second phase:
    72 per cent of live networks are currently primarily used to reduce costs for participants through reduced reconciliation efforts. However, 69 per cent of network participants indicate that the key motivation for joining the project is the potential of generating incremental revenues through the provision of new products and services.
  • Hyperledger Fabric appears to be the platform of choice across all industries:
    Fourty-eight per cent of covered projects that are used in production have chosen Hyperledger Fabric as the core protocol framework underlying the network, followed by R3’s Corda platform (15 per cent) and Coin Sciences’ MultiChain framework (10 per cent).
  • The majority of live networks retain a high degree of centralisation, but plan to gradually distribute control over time:
    Eighty-one per cent of covered networks have a leader entity dominating the governance process (centralised social consensus), and many networks – at least in their current form – use third-party service providers to host and operate nodes on behalf of network participants (centralised network consensus).
  • Unclear terminology and marketing hype have contributed to the “blockchain meme”:
    Seventy-seven per cent of live enterprise blockchain networks have little in common with multi-party consensus systems apart from incorporating some of the same technology components (e.g. cryptography, peer-to-peer networking) and using similar nomenclature. The “blockchain meme” nevertheless acts as a powerful catalyst to overcome corporate inertia and spur wide-reaching organisational change, both within and across organisational boundaries.