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Building your blockchain advantage


As blockchain adoption gathers momentum, organizations must adopt transformative approaches and incentive models that attract partners and scale quickly.

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From the start, the value of blockchain as a single source of truth was so apparent that forward-thinking organizations didn’t hesitate to explore its application.

Blockchain pioneers began to anticipate entirely new paths to value and even new business models that could countermand an era of depleting trust. As organizations tested this capacity for establishing trust, new applications emerged in quick succession.

In many ways, blockchain proved its value so readily that the pace of adoption shouldn’t surprise. And yet, that momentum is significant. An IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of over 1,600 executives across eight industries reveals that more than 60 percent of early adopter organizations surveyed expect to have a blockchain network in production by 2020.¹

Solutions being developed continue to prove blockchain as both a trusted platform for business and a source of economic growth. For example, over half of surveyed C-suite respondents expect the sharing economy, which can only succeed if new means are available to establish the reputation of all parties, to reshape their business models.²

This report draws upon insights from case study analysis of over 25 blockchain networks in various stages of production across multiple industries and geographies. Detailed analysis of each business case, including its incentive models, governance structure, monetization strategy, and market approach, was followed by selected interviews to validate the findings.

We’ll reveal lessons learned across three critical areas:

  1. The importance of designing a minimum viable ecosystem (MVE) and equitably incentivizing all network members.

  2. How competitors collaborate to create new value and govern their growth.

  3. New opportunities to change relationships with customers and how to monetize the build out of blockchain infrastructure.

¹ IBM Institute for Business Value analysis based on IBM Blockchain industry series. https://www.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/blockchain/

² “Forward Together: Three ways Explorers chart a new direction.” IBM Institute for Business Value, May 2016. https://www-935.ibm.com/services/studies/csuite/pdf/GBE03835USEN-00.pdf

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Meet the authors:

Andrew Martin

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, Blockchain Value Design Worldwide Leader, IBM Industry Platforms;
Shyam Nagarajan

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, Director, Global Blockchain Industry Networks, IBM Industry Platforms;
Smitha Soman

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, Global Blockchain Research, IBM Institute for Business Value;
Veena Pureswaran

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, Global Blockchain Research Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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