Blockchain has hit the peak of its hype cycle according to Gartner.
That's the key finding from a new report, issued this week, that asserts the emerging technology is at a stage in its development where users and the public are suffering from "inflated expectations" about its benefits.
Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, connected homes and smart robots were other technologies included in this category.
But if that sounds negative, Gartner's report also projects blockchain will come to be "transformational" across a variety of industries, and it forecasts that this transition is only between five and 10 years away.
The report reads:
"As a portent for the rise of the programmable economy, the potential of this technology to radically transform economic interactions should raise critical questions for society, governments and enterprises, for which there are no clear answers today."
Gartner goes on to estimate blockchain is now being used by "less than 1%" of its total audience, and predict that the technology will advance most quickly in the manufacturing, government, healthcare and education sectors.
Notably, Gartner discusses bitcoin, calling it "the only proven blockchain".
For the report, "blockchain" is defined as a term relating to a "diverse collection" of distributed ledgers based on other foundational technologies.
Ultimately, the report ends on a cautionary note, recommending firms looking to invest in the technology take the time to understand issues surrounding blockchain governance, an issue it highlighted as a "critical factor" for adoption.
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