Corporate America’s love affair with all things blockchain may be cooling. A number of software projects based on the distributed ledger technology will be wound down this year, according to Forrester Research Inc. And some companies pushing ahead with pilot tests are scaling back their ambitions and timelines.
In 90% of cases, the experiments will never become part of a company’s operations, the firm estimates. Even Nasdaq Inc., a high-profile champion of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, hasn’t moved as quickly as hoped.
The exchange operator, which talked in 2016 about deploying blockchain for voting in shareholder meetings and private-company stock issuance, isn’t using the technology in any widely deployed projects yet. “The expectation was we’d quickly find use cases,” Magnus Haglind, Nasdaq’s senior vice president and head of product management for market technology, said in an interview.
“But introducing new technologies requires broad collaboration with industry participants, and it all takes time.” Blockchain is designed to provide a tamper-proof digital ledger — a groundbreaking means of tracking products, payments and customers. But the much-ballyhooed technology has proven difficult to adopt in real-life situations.
As companies try to ramp up projects across their businesses, they’re hitting problems with performance, oversight and operations. “The disconnect between the hype and the reality is significant — I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, an analyst at Gartner Inc. “In terms of actual production use, it’s very rare.” That could be bad news for makers of blockchain software and services, which include International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft Corp. They’re aiming to make billions on cloud services that help run supply chains, send and receive payments, and interact with customers. Read more from latimes.com…
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