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According to a report by market research firm HFS Research, blockchain is emerging as a powerful architectural technology with the potential to impact the enterprise and B2B ecosystems as much as the Internet and cloud. Moreover, blockchain technology will play a decisive role in establishing the future “hyperconnected economy”.

HFS’ report – which can be read in full here – assessed 13 leading blockchain service providers based on detailed discussions with their leadership teams, inputs from their enterprise clients, and analysis of nearly 4,200 blockchain engagements across industries and around the globe. The research has been augmented with information from publicly available information sources. “2019 witnessed pioneering blockchain initiatives succeed and proceed from proofs of concept to pilots to live, in-production, while several other efforts failed to move beyond laboratories. 2020 promises to be the most exciting blockchain year—we could see enterprise blockchain adoption come of age to solve real-world business problems”, states Saurabh Gupta, HFS Chief Strategy Officer.

The report reads: “We are hurtling toward a hyperconnected economy, and blockchain will provide the way to make it happen. Ecosystems across organizations that service the specific needs of a customer are emerging. No single organization owns the entire customer experience, and competitors and peers need to figure out how to collaborate. Blockchain – in combination with other emerging technologies like IoT and Artificial Intelligence – will provide the way to make it happen.

The blockchain “six-pack”

HFS’ report identifies 6 built-in blockchain features with long-term potential for disruption when enterprises leverage them intelligently in relevant business use cases. “These six blockchain features are changing the way we think about business transactions, data storage, and even industry value chains and associated revenue models. The blockchain six-pack includes: 1. Distributed shared data over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks reduces single points of failure; 2. Consensus-driven trust cuts out the middle-man; 3. Immutable transactions ensure trust; 4. Hashing-based data ensures integrity and security; 5. Automated smart contracts promote touchless interactions across process chains; and 6. Permissioned and permissionless flavors give enterprise users flexibility.”

On the rise: the enterprise blockchain market

According to the report, the enterprise blockchain service market witnessed a massive surge in 2019. The number of engagements and dedicated talent pool for blockchain services nearly doubled in 2019 and over 15% of blockchain solutions are reaching production stage, nearly a 3X increase from 2018. “Enterprise blockchain adoption is a cross-industry global phenomenon. Banking and financial services was the first mover from an enterprise blockchain adoption perspective accounting for 35%+ engagements. However, other industries are catching up fast. Supply chain has emerged as the hottest use case for blockchain followed by document management, trade management, payments, identity, and customer experience. Industry-specific use cases include insurance claims processing, re-insurance, intercompany reconciliations, settlements, lending, and several others have also emerged”.

Enterprises are investing in blockchain solutions

The report adds that real blockchain clients want real business impact. Blockchain promises “creative destruction” through disintermediation, but that is a long-term vision. “Only 6% of executives we surveyed are leveraging blockchain to remove the need for intermediaries. Enterprise blockchain clients are investing in blockchain solutions to get real business impact. Without a tangible ROI, blockchain engagements get stuck at the proof of concept (PoC) or pilot stage. No-nonsense, real business cases are a must-have to drive blockchain beyond the PoC-fatigue that we are witnessing today. Consequently, the current focus for enterprise adoption is business optimization with a tangible ROI.”

“A balanced approach to blockchain is critical to driving meaningful success—you can no longer ignore blockchain as a value creation lever, but don’t also get sucked into all the hype! Enterprise clients will still demand blockchain solutions despite COVID-19. HFS ran a survey to understand the impact of the coronavirus on the business/IT services industries, with over 600 respondents. The results showed that enterprise clients predicted a small increase in their blockchain investments following the pandemic, meaning that it must remain a strategic investment for service providers despite current uncertainty.”

Modex BCDB, a smart solution for enterprises

Modex Blockchain Database (BCDB) was designed to help people without a background in tech access the benefits of blockchain technology and remove the dangers posed by the loss of sensitive data. Modex BCDB is a patented hybrid blockchain-database middleware that fuses a blockchain with a database to create a structure that is easy to use and understand by developers with no prior knowledge in blockchain development. As a result, any developer who knows how to work with a database system can operate with our solution, without needing to change their programming style or learn blockchain.

For enterprises, Modex BCDB translates into enhanced data security, secure data sharing, streamlining of operations, and protection against cyberattacks. By simplifying the way enterprises can deploy blockchain technology, Modex BCDB enables them to get up and running with blockchain projects in days instead of months, and at a price point that small and mid-level enterprises can afford. The BCDB solution was designed to intervene in a company’s existing IT architecture by positioning itself as an additional layer between the application and database engine to give access to a blockchain back-end. Due to its design, Modex BCDB acts as a blockchain enabler, but also as an augmenter, a mechanism through which existing software solutions can access valuable blockchain-enabled characteristics such as data integrity, immutability and traceability, and all of the advantages that come with a highly transparent, decentralized and distributed system.