Hurdles Facing Corporate Adoption of Blockchain

We were recently asked to examine the hurdles that companies face when facing how to adopt Blockchain.  Our model of analysis (Direction, Money, Growth, Talent) revealed the following insights:


With respect to Direction:

Companies are interested in implementing Blockchain because they perceive a great deal of market interest and curiosity in that technology, but their issue is often one that relates to application feasibility - they are searching for areas where Blockchain is the ideal solution.  In many cases, they are not finding application spaces where Blockchain couldn't be substituted with an approach that they know better in terms of implementation considerations and outcomes, especially security and access control outcomes.  This speaks to the worldview of most companies, which runs counter to the spirit, if not the architecture, of Blockchain to begin with.


With respect to Money:

Many companies are only skimming the surface of Blockchain at the moment and conflating the white-hot interest level in speculative activities associated to the release of private-label cryptocurrencies with the underlying broad utility and applicability of Blockchain.  This means they are attracted to what one might call the capital formation side of the Blockchain equation, but not appreciating the beauty and power of the utility side sufficiently, because money is so vital.  Right now, the controversy surrounding tokens (which are not strictly necessary to use or apply Blockchain) is overshadowing everything else to the point where confusion, uncertainty and misinformation is drowning out the message of general usefulness of Blockchain as a resilient, corporate-grade technology approach, especially in distributed or federated scenarios.


With respect to Growth:

Blockchain is not a panacea that cures all ills, but in many ways it is being used as one to help drive growth.  From a certain perspective, we see too many companies adding "Blockchain" to their corporate messaging not as a way to signal a deepening of their technological foundations, but as a way to signal to the market that they are hip and worth a look.  Using Blockchain in this way, to generate hype, is somewhat of an abuse of the term, and only helps to obfuscate the places where Blockchain is a real value-add to a company seeking the missing link that will help them attain breakout status.  For the past while, there's been a lot of "just add Blockchain" to corporate PR messaging.  From a legitimacy of adoption point of view, this is more counter-productive than anything else, because it's mixing fool's gold in with the gold, and consumers are being put at risk of being taken in by charlatans.  This is why the regulators are now paying so much attention to the Blockchain space.


With respect to Talent:

Talent is perhaps the biggest challenge that companies face when considering the adoption of Blockchain.  The technology is new.  Experts are scarce.  Provable use cases are thin on the ground.  Best Practices are difficult to identify.  Most of what we see in the public sphere as "Blockchain" is intertwined and synonymous with cryptocurrency capital formation plays, which confuses matters.  Most heavy-duty Blockchain implementation in the corporate space are privately operated, and tightly secured.  Depth of experience with the technology is measured in single-digits, and the technology itself is in such a state of flux, even self-proclaimed "experts" may have developed themselves in the wrong direction.  Little to no formal training is available at the Tertiary level and almost no institutions include Blockchain in their instruction, much less graduate students with a reliable minimum of standardized Blockchain fluency.

Case Studies


Halving delivery costs and doubling the top line revenue of a multi-line Hong Kong IT Services Firm

Human Potential

Launching two new lines of business within a Hong Kong / China Psychometric Evaluation Provider

Team Building Asia

Doubling the delivery capacity and opening three new distribution channels for an ASEAN Team Building Provider with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai


Dramatically expanding the eCommerce potential of a French Luxury Cosmeceutical Firm

Brown Capital Partners

Business processes mapped and optimized.  Expanded overseas reach into 5 new countries.  Created online and social media Internet presence.