Blockchain Regulation Is Largest Barrier to Adoption of the Technology Says New Survey
According to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers survey blockchain regulation is proving to be the most significant barrier to full-scale development and deployment of blockchain solutions in business.
The survey of 600 international business executives spread across 15 different countries has found that regulation of blockchain technology is an issue that must be overcome before the technology can enjoy widespread acceptance.
A primary concern
48 percent of respondents rank concerns about blockchain regulation as one of their top three concerns, which places it higher on the list of issues than any other technical or philosophical issues.
27 percent consider blockchain regulation to be the single biggest barrier to widespread acceptance and use within business.
It’s also worth noting that 45 percent of the survey respondents considered a “lack of trust among users” as a core issue, with 44 percent pointing to the difficulty in bringing a network-based business together.
Strategic Policy Advisers Leader at PwC, Alison Kutler believes that these findings shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise when you consider that blockchain technology specializes in anonymity and decentralization, both of which fly directly in the face of many traditional regulatory responsibilities.
Speaking to Forbes Magazine about the findings of the survey, she said –
“This conflict is creating tension, especially in industries with mature regulatory constructs and high-value transactions.”
“In addition, widespread adoption of blockchain across jurisdictions and participants requires standardization, which is often achieved from a central authority.”
Kutler then went on to add –
“However, technology mandates by policymakers can also harm innovation if overly prescriptive, presenting a delicate balancing act for the future of blockchain policy.”
GDPR playing a role in the EU
We’ve seen differing approaches from rule makers across North America, Europe, and Asia when it comes to blockchain regulation, with GDPR playing a significant role in the European Union, and a distinct lack of federal regulation in the US.
One thing that PwC claims is true in all regions is that no blockchain-based business should be counting on a ‘free pass’ regardless of the industry they’re operating in.
The conclusion from the survey claims –
“By and large, we expect existing regulation to extend to new business models and applications. If you remain agile, you’ll be able to adapt and remain compliant.”
It seems apparent that as far as continual blockchain technology development is concerned, the onus is on the various governing bodies to provide blockchain regulation –
“Regulators should be aware that they have the attention of industry leaders and innovators developing in this area, and as such, they should bring them to the table to collaborate on reasonable oversight.”
Kutler also pointed out that one thing authorities shouldn’t do when looking to address blockchain regulation is to “shoehorn” new technologies into existing frameworks.
More welcoming reception
It is true that the majority of regulatory attention has been aimed at cryptocurrencies and exchanges, but other applications of the technology have seen more welcoming receptions from many of those in positions of power.
In closing, Kutler commented –
“Policymakers in some jurisdictions seem more supportive of the innovative applications of blockchain and are creating regulatory environments that allow incubators to develop new applications.”
“The results of these highly experimental environments for blockchain-based commerce will be critically influential for expanding policies to more geographic areas and industries.”
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Lover of all things crypto, blockchain and AI, professional tech scribe & part of the editorial team at Crypto Disrupt.