PwC Middle East lays out the solutions to key blockchain challenges in latest white paper

Monday 25 March 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

There is little doubt that blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise industries and change the nature of capitalism by bringing more trust, efficiency, transparency and accurate recording to everyday transactions. But before this can happen, challenges must be overcome to allow proof of concept projects to progress to full implementation.

Commissioned by the Future Blockchain Summit through PwC and Smart Dubai’s Global Leaders Exchange roundtable, PwC’s latest white paper “Accelerating Blockchain - from proof of concept to implementation” summarises the main outcomes from last year’s Exchange, laying out the various challenges and practical solutions for the implementation of blockchain technology beyond proof of concept.

These challenges, according to PwC, range from technical, organisational and regulatory and are complex in nature:


The need for more and better education is clear. The continued development of a community to further raise awareness and champion the benefits of blockchain is needed to achieve tangible benefits from blockchain technology use cases.


The different blockchain protocols and applications have created the need for interoperability: defined as communicating and exchanging information and value between blockchains. Achieving this goal requires embracing the open source movement, agreeing common standards and establishing trusted blockchains, all of which are complex problems to overcome. The 2018 PwC Global Blockchain Survey highlighted that 41% of respondents cited interoperability concerns as one of their top three barriers to blockchain adoption.


Collaboration is arguably more important to the proliferation of blockchain technology. The true benefits of blockchain are only likely to be realised when organisations work together to a sufficient extent – trust, transparency and efficiency can only be achieved at scale and across an ecosystem. A strong, distributed governance model is critical for success, the attributes of which must include open dialogue, transparency and in some cases independent facilitation.

Role of government

Finally, the role of government cannot be underestimated. Whether as an enabler (through industry advisory bodies, accessible platforms or sandboxes) or as a regulator (by establishing policy), governments have a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of blockchain technology proliferation.

Oliver Sykes, Partner at PwC Middle East noted: "Creating a vision and strategy for the usage of blockchain technology is an important enabler for adoption. The Dubai government, and subsequently the UAE Federal government have created clear and  compelling strategies for the adoption of blockchain technology. A clearly defined strategy, articulated in the context of a decentralised environment with multiple stakeholders and conducted with risk management principles in mind are key to the successful transition from proof of concept to full-scale implementation."

H.E. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai and CEO of Smart Dubai Data, said: “Guided by the vision of our leadership, Dubai has quickly but firmly established itself as a hub for innovators and entrepreneurs in the international Blockchain industry. We, at Smart Dubai, believe that to build a full-fledged smart city, we must embrace disruptive technologies to create advanced, connected, and seamless services for citizens, residents, and visitors in the city; we must, therefore, establish and empower a holistic Blockchain ecosystem to serve as a catalyst for the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, and the transition to a paperless government by the year 2021.”

“We are delighted to be collaborating with PwC to launch this new and in-depth white paper, which outlines challenges and solutions for successfully implementing Blockchain technology, and going from abstract concepts to concrete applications and services that can help accomplish Smart Dubai’s stated goal of making the emirate the smartest and happiest city in the world,” H.E. Al Nasser added.

PwC’s Oliver Sykes ends: “One of the central roadblocks in preventing the universal adoption of blockchain is a widespread lack of understanding and knowledge over how it works. This “poor” level of insight – coupled with accelerating public interest – has manifested itself in such a way that business leaders are now less inclined to even ask questions about blockchain, anxious that they feel it is a technology they should already be fully up to speed with.

The time is now to invest in education, identify opportunities for collaboration to drive progress, and engage with regulators and standard-setters to establish clarity and stability. Only then will we see more projects fully implemented with the tangible benefits that are being promised.”

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