According to a Deloitte survey presented Tuesday at CoinDesk's Consensus event in New York City, 74 percent of large companies across seven countries see a "compelling business case" for blockchain technology.
Deloitte – the multinational "Big Four" firm that provides tax, auditing and consulting services – conducted the survey in late March and early April. The approximately 1,000 respondents represented companies with annual sales of at least $500 million in the U.S., China, Mexico, the U.K., France, Germany and Canada.
The firms represented a range of industries: financial services was the biggest group at 23 percent, followed by technology, media and telecommunications at 18 percent. Other industries included consumer products and healthcare.
In a statement, the head of Deloitte's U.S. financial services blockchain group, Linda Pawczuk, said the survey showed that "momentum is shifting from a focus on 'blockchain tourism' and exploring the technology's potential to building practical business applications."
Around half of the respondents who saw a "compelling" case for blockchain – 34 percent of the total – said their companies already have some form of blockchain system in production. An additional 41 percent said they aim to launch a blockchain application within the next year.
The enthusiasm for blockchain was not universally shared, however. Globally, 39 percent said blockchain is "overhyped," with 44 percent of those saying so in the U.S. – up 10 percentage points from 2016.
American companies were generally less gung-ho about investing in blockchain than their counterparts in other countries – particularly China, where zero firms said they would not invest in blockchain within the coming year, compared to 16 percent in the U.S.
Another notable finding that emerged from the survey is the overlap between firms that see a compelling case for blockchain, and firms that think it's overhyped. At least a few respondents said both are true. The explanation likely has something to do with another result: 68 percent of firms globally are afraid of losing competitive advantage if they don't adopt blockchain technology.
As for what firms mean by "blockchain" – an occasionally contentious issue at Consensus so far – 52 percent of firms said they're focusing on permissioned models, 44 percent on private models internal to their own companies and 44 percent on public models such as ethereum (they were allowed to select more than one).
Survey image via Shutterstock