South African SMEs have come to embrace the blockchain revolution

20 September 2018 Authored by Consultancy.co.za

As global expenditure on blockchain implementation is set to surpass the $2 billion mark this year, PwC South Africa’s Fintech and Blockchain Lead Paul Mitchell has revealed that South African startups are now more open than ever to the new technology, motivated primarily by a fear of being left behind.

The Fintech revolution has found a particularly receptive market in South Africa, with the country registering the third fastest adoption rate in the world according to reports last year. Nevertheless, not all technological enhancements have been equally welcome by all segments of South African business.

The largest financial institutions in the country, for instance, have been quick to adopt Fintech solutions. Less prominent firms that belong to the startup or small & medium enterprise (SME) category, however, have been slow to adopt the latest technologies, primarily due to the large costs involved.

Differences exist even within the nature of technologies gaining popularity. Internet of Things, for instance, has gained popularity much faster when compared to other technological enhancements such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. Now, experts are increasingly observing changes in both these trends.

South African SMEs have come to embrace the blockchain revolution

SMEs have not only increased their speed of implementing new technology, but have also begun to accept the integration of blockchain systems into their operations, according to Paul Mitchell. The new attitude is motivated by a fear of becoming obsolete in a global environment that has long since embraced the advent of blockchain technology.

Mitchell’s comments come in light of a global survey conducted by Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC, which revealed that 84% of the businesses (primarily SMEs) have begun the implementation of blockhain.

“The survey findings indicate that organisations recognise the importance of working with blockchain; they don't want to be left behind as blockchain developments gain momentum globally,” said Mitchell, commenting on the findings of the PwC report.

He adds, “The speed at which blockchain technology is being adopted is unprecedented. There is a growing recognition that this technology has profound implications in many areas, and we are watching it move from a start-up idea to an established technology in a fraction of the time it took for the Internet to be accepted as a standard tool.”

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