Business

Dennis Wafula

Poll: 68% of Asia-Pacific firms lack blockchain knowledge

An Ernst & Young (EY) poll recently revealed that nearly two-thirds of Asian-Pacific companies do not have an understanding of blockchain technology and its applications.

The poll which was carried out during a live blockchain webcast, had 576 attending from the Asian-Pacific; of the attendees, 13.7% were from Singapore.

Two-thirds of the people surveyed confessed that they were reluctant to adopt blockchain because they lacked an understanding of the possibilities, risks, and benefits that come with technology. Adam Gerrard, partner at EY, said

Trust is a key factor and current barrier for companies in Asia-Pacific. Understanding and education is required to build trust and confidence with aspects of a business.

The EY poll revealed that the people specifically in the Asian-Pacific region were misinformed, rather than lacking knowledge per se. Out of the respondents, 46 percent knew blockchain to be a “trust-less” system which doesn’t require a central authority. Others believed that the technology is not as “unhackable” as it is perceived to be.

In response to the first myth, Gerrard affirmed that “trust-less” meant that it doesn’t require trust. He added that it was a term which is used to describe the distributed nature of a public blockchain.

“This is different from private blockchains, which usually has a central authority controlling the code and protocols needed. Therefore, the term “trust-less” may not be a myth, but rather misunderstood,” he added.

While explaining the “hackability” of blockchain, the chairman and co-founder of the Power Ledger Company in Australia said:

The 51 percent attack can allow valid transactions from taking place and will also reverse previous transactions in the blockchain.

Jimmy Ong, a blockchain leader of EY Asia-Pacific, also reacted to the claims saying that the words immutable and unhackable were used in the wrong context. He then explained the immutability of the technology and affirmed that it can be of use in the ecosystem of networked companies and enterprises.

In as much as a large percentage of firms in the Asian-Pacific region do not have solid knowledge on the blockchain, some countries in the region are still embracing the technology. For instance, 100 manufacturing companies in Japan are set to start using blockchain in establishing a communication system. The project is expected to enable the companies to securely share information to improve their efficiency.

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