A new report from Digital Catapult has shed some desperately-needed light on the scale and success of the UK blockchain industry
Gauging the success of the UK blockchain industry has been fiendishly difficult amid the bluff and bluster of technologists and the seemingly inexorable capitulation of its cryptocurrency poster boy Bitcoin.
But on the basis of Digital Catapult’s new “Blockchain in Action” report (most) of the blockchain hype is justified. The report found almost three-quarters of UK DLT companies to be generating revenue: almost half have raised a traditional seed round of investment, and one-in-four aren’t seeking further finances.
Wait, blockchain or DLT?
Although the report is named “Blockchain In Action”, it actually focused on mapping the UK distributed ledger technologies (DLT) landscape, a subtle but significant distinction when you get into the nitty-gritty.
On the surface, DLTs (not the duck version of that sandwich) don’t seem all that different from blockchain, in that they imply databases absent of a central entity recording or confirming entries.
However, the difference with DLTs is that the implementer has a lot more sovereignty over the structure, purpose and functioning of the network.
Heard of Ethereum’s infamous forks? Well a DLT approach eschews the need for such stultifying geek-bureaucracy, meaning a firm can have more confidence in their roadmap.
Because of this increased control, DLT is considered a far more reliable proposition as far as businesses are concerned and 2018 saw a raft of big-name firms getting serious with DLT projects, including Google and Volkswagen.
Although we’ll admit it: with its vaguely brutalist-sounding name it is never going to sell as many conference tickets as slick and sexy blockchain – so you can’t really blame Digital Catapult for slapping the latter on the front page of its report. In all likelihood, The Stack would have overlooked it if they hadn’t.
State of UK blockchain (or DLT) Industry
With all the hype that has surrounded distributed ledgers in recent years it’s easy to forget there has been very little in the way of UK market research as to which firms are doing what and how well they are progressing.
The report canvassed 260 UK DLT companies to fully ascertain the breadth of the market and put some substance behind the hype.
To further complicate the conceptual labyrinth Digital Catapult divides the UK DLT ecosystem into four categories: distributed ledger developers, dApp developers, service providers, and centralised systems, representing 13, 35, 37, and 15 percent of the market, respectively.
Many believe they have received counterproducti….