In a report reminiscent of the 2017 ‘blockchain-technology movement’, PwC economists now expect applied variations of the technology to give the world economy a major boost if blockchain applications are adopted at scale.

In Brief

  • A big four financial institution expects trillions in added GDP to accompany ‘blockchain’ adoption.
  • The report makes no mention of bitcoin.
  • The PwC report attests to various applications reminiscent of 2017, which would drive billions in GDP across countries.
  • It remains to be seen whether centralised blockchains offer much over traditional database technology.

While this report immediately raises red-flags through its clear avoidance of bitcoin – which is the real world-changing innovation amidst all the noise – there’s reason to speculate that legacy finance and various other applications such as product tracking might also benefit from blockchain variants. Notably, these narratives existed in 2017 and have yet to be meaningfully developed or applied.
PwC economists anticipate a tipping point in 2025 if ‘blockchain technologies’ are adopted across the world, and expect blockchain applications to boost global gross domestic product (GDP) by $1.76 trillion, (1.4% of global GDP) by 2030. 
Per the report, ‘blockchain’ will make the biggest impact on Asia’s economy with China, India and Japan driving adoption in the region. China being the first to push for CBDC’s, the country stands to gain the most with a net benefit of $440 billion, with the US following closely at $407 billion.
Germany, Japan, the UK, India and France are estimated to benefit by about $50 billion in the same period.
The report identified give applications of interest with the potential to generate economic value: product tracking and tracing ($962 billion), financial services and payments ($433 billion), identity security and credentials ($224 billion), contracts and dispute resolution ($73 billion), customer engagement and reward programs ($54 billion). 
Additionally, public administration, education and health care sectors would also benefit the most ($574 billion increase by 2030) by “capitalizing on the efficiencies blockchain brings to the world of identity and credentials,” said the report.
Part of the report featured a survey which revealed that 61% of CEOs across the world are placing digital transformation at the core of business operations among their top three priorities.
In other news, it appears that water is indeed wet.
In typical vague and vacuous fashion, Global blockchain leader at PwC, Steve Davies, said in the report: “Serious activity around blockchain is cutting through every industry across the globe right now.”

Is this PwC report just noise?

It’s hard not to read such a report and conclude anything other than the fact that one of the big four is signalling to investors that they’re ‘on top of things’ with regards to ‘the blockchain’. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether centralised blockchains – which could be rolled back – make much sense given that they defeat the purpose of publicly verifiable information.
However, in an attempt to not throw the baby out with the bathwater, it’s certainly not terrible to see legacy institutions reignite their interest in the space, even if the emphasis is ultimately incomplete.

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