The promise of blockchain is often described as a, \u201ctransfer of trust in a trustless world.\u201d The distributed ledger technology eliminates the need for centralized third parties to verify transactions, and all participating parties are anonymous.\u00a0 It is incredibly difficult to hack and less vulnerable to breaches, yet it is ironically a \u2018lack of trust\u2019 in blockchain that may be its biggest hurdle.\nPwC\u2019s Global Blockchain Survey 2018\u00a0 found that while 84 percent of the 600 respondents\u2019 companies are investing in the technology, 45 percent of respondents believe that lack of trust among users will be a top barrier to blockchain adoption. This lack of trust stems primarily from not fully understanding the technology, uncertainty surrounding regulation, and concerns about the inability to bring networks together.\u00a0\nThis should be no surprise to CIOs though.\u00a0 Every day, in every business deal or potential partnership, there is an inundation of risk assessments, audits, data security assurances, compliance and regulation issues. The CIO is constantly working to build trust in the business, its networks, its data protection, security and privacy and effectively communicate these measures. \u00a0\nAs many CIOs start analyzing if and how blockchain can transform their business, and begin making critical decisions on what blockchain models to use and how to implement, PwC shares a few key initiatives to bridge the trust gap:\nConfront risks early\nPlan to add cybersecurity, compliance, and legal and audit specialists to blockchain development teams. Involving from the start will enable you to build a framework that regulators and all your stakeholders will trust.\nConsider privacy implications\nBlockchain needs to fit into enterprise privacy strategies. GDPR, for example, requires that personally identifiable information be erasable. This has to be reconciled with the fact that data immutability is an important characteristic of blockchain.\nInvest in data and processes\nTraditional organizational processes, such as sales, manufacturing and shipping, are often suboptimal and siloed. Focusing efforts to streamline processes and data flows lays the groundwork for blockchain efforts.\nIf these key areas are effectively addressed ahead of time, blockchain can make a significant impact on businesses far beyond cyber money.\u00a0 In fact, PwC survey respondents also believe its impact will be more widespread across a variety of sectors including energy and utilities, healthcare, and industrial products.\u00a0\u00a0\nThis prediction is especially valid when considering smart contracts and their correlation with blockchain.\u00a0 Although blockchain and cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, have been getting a lot of buzz and hype in the last 10 years or so, the term \u201csmart contract\u201d\u2019 has been used since 1993. \u00a0By definition, smart contracts are applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.\u00a0 The emergence of newer technologies like Ethereum, a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts, finally gives blockchain more use cases beyond transactions.\u00a0\nWhen ACI Specialty Benefits was digitally transforming its infrastructure in 2010 to meet a growing demand for global employee benefits, it made a lot of sense to use blockchain to facilitate international payment processing in real-time. Sending money cross-border was not only slow and cumbersome it was expensive. By utilizing blockchain and smart contracts, ACI was able to set up its SaaS platform to accept payments in real-time, allowing its clients to have on-demand provisioning of resources. \u00a0\nUtilizing\u00a0IBM's ADEPT, or Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry, ACI also implemented multiple blockchain\u00a0protocols to provide a backbone to its BYOD scheme. This backbone has helped ACI eliminate the need of a central hub or "bridge" previously required\u00a0between all devices, while also achieving significant cost savings by allowing devices to communicate with each-other autonomously and reducing the need (by ~3 orders of magnitude) to manage multiple software updates, bugs, or any other one-off needs.\u00a0\nThere is no denying blockchain is making an impact, but no one is fully certain how it will all play out. \u00a0Even though this makes for an incredibly exciting time to be a technologist, it's vital to fully evaluate your business needs, core competencies and KPIs to figure out exactly how blockchain technology can support your goals. \u00a0It's easy to deploy blockchain technologies today but managing the network can be tedious based on your technical know-how. Luckily, due to its many use cases and growth within the marketplace, there are now BaaS, or Blockchain as a Service companies that can help ensure your business is using the right technology for your specific use case.