Blockchain for business: 6 promising pilots

From financial services to agriculture and non-profits, several organizations are betting on the digital ledger technology as the future for facilitating and verifying business transactions.

Blockchain for business: 6 promising pilots
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For all the hype, blockchain has yet to go mainstream in the enterprise. That may well change soon as the technology's reputation for trusted transactions continues to grow among IT leaders.

Blockchain is a shared digital ledger for recording transactions. Each transaction among participants in a network is tucked into a record known as a block that is digitally signed to ensure its authenticity and create consensus about the state of transactions at any given second. What has CIOs excited about blockchain is its ability to scale across an enterprise, offering a network effect of digital trust.

For example, every stakeholder in a blockchain-supported supply-chain network receives a copy of the existing authenticated ledger. If an event impacts the supply chain, every party can be assured that what the digital ledger says happened actually happened.

Enterprises are putting a premium on digital technologies that can ensure trust. Nearly 34 percent of 1,000 respondents to a Deloitte survey report that their organizations are using blockchain in production. Another 41 percent of respondents say they expect their organizations to deploy a blockchain application within the next 12 months.

Spending by enterprises on blockchain networks will reach $2.1 billion this year, topping $9.7 billion by 2021, according to IDC. The researcher cited financial services, distribution services and manufacturing among the leading adopters of blockchain.

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