PwC: Blockchain technologies could boost global economy to tune of $1.7 trillion by 2030

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

A new analysis from PwC estimates blockchain technologies could spark a $1.7 trillion boost in the global economy by 2030 – with the UK set to benefit to the tune of £57 billion ($72bn).

The findings come from a report which is part of a series exploring the economic impact and use cases for emerging technologies. PwC said its analysis ‘showed the potential for blockchain to support organisations in how they rebuild and reconfigure their operations’, particularly in the UK.

PwC noted five key application areas of blockchain and assessed their potential to generate value using economic analysis and industry research. These are tracking and tracing; payments and financial services; identity management; contracts and dispute resolution; and customer engagement.

Nothing especially new under the hood there, one may think, but their development, as PwC assesses it, is interesting. Tracking and tracing ’emerged as a new priority’ for many companies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the sector forecast to boost the UK economy by $39bn (£30bn) by 2030. The report noted the wide applicability of such a use case, from heavy industries to fashion labels.

Payments and financial services are expected to give the UK economy a £13bn boost in the next decade, with identity management at £8bn. Contracts and dispute resolution, as well as customer engagement, are pegged at £3bn and £1.8bn respectively, as usage in loyalty programmes ‘further extends its potential into a much wider range of public and private industry sectors.’

In terms of specific industries, public administration, education and healthcare are cited as the sectors likely to see the biggest uptick. PwC pegged this at £22bn overall by 2030, with wholesale and retail, communications and media, and wider business services also benefiting.

Many analysts and organisations are in the process of navel-gazing around the wider economic impact of emerging technologies, partly as a sign of stability amid the continued uncertainty around Covid. Earlier this week, Nokia reported that 5G technologies could add $8 trillion to global GDP by 2030.

PwC added that, for blockchain to be successful more widely, a supportive policy environment is required, as well as a business ecosystem ready to exploit the new opportunities available.

This applies to internal as well as external processes, as Steve Davies, global blockchain leader at PwC, explained. “One of the biggest mistakes organisations can make with implementing emerging technologies is to leave it in the realm of the enthusiast in the team,” Davies said. “It needs C-suite support to identify the strategic opportunity and value, and to facilitate the right level of collaboration within an industry.

“Establishing proof of concept uses which can be scaled up if successful will enable businesses to identify the potential usages of blockchain, while building confidence and trust in its ability to deliver,” added Davies.

You can read the full report here.

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

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