Businesses say they lack the skills to implement Blockchain initiatives. A survey of more than 200 board level UK executives found that while over half of businesses sampled are planning them, less than 1 in 10 believe they have the required skill sets in place within their organisations.

Another key finding from the survey is that more than 40% of non-IT/data senior executives admit to not fully understanding the technology and its full potential.

Lack of regulation (23%) is seen as the biggest barrier to the adoption of Blockhain, while smart contracts (52%), supply chain transformation (44%) and IP protection (39%) are the top-three non-fintech planned applications according to the UK plc sample.

90% of chief technology officers surveyed believe Blockchain will improve customer trust, privacy and security, although 40% think it will not become a mainstream enabler of business transformation for another three to five years.

MBN, the search and recruitment consultancy, conducted the survey across a range of industry sectors including banking, financial services, retail and the technology, media, and telecom sector, with organisations including Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury’s Bank, and Deloitte interviewed on their views in relation to the advent of Blockchain and how it is impacting their business.

The survey coincides with ScotChain17, now established as one of Europe’s premier events around Blockchain technology, which is taking place tomorrow at RBS Gogarburn in Edinburgh.

Paul Forrest, chairman of MBN, said: “What is clear from the survey is that the conversation around Blockchain is changing rapidly and we’re only now starting to understand this technology’s real, practical and full potential beyond the obvious financial applications.

“While it is encouraging that so many businesses are planning Blockchain initiatives, it’s also clear that we need to be building a better foundation of skills if we are to keep ahead of the curve.”

Steve Waldron, UK Head of Operations at UK SEI Wealth Platform, part of Nasdaq-listed investment solutions group SEI, added: “The word ‘blockchain’ is beyond being an alien word to so many and contributes to conversations across multiple different levels in the financial sector alone.

“The fact that 90 per cent of CTOs believe blockchain will improve customer trust, privacy and security is hugely positive as CTO’s will be the blockchain believers and the champions of blockchain within their organisations – I would expect the CTOs to help drive the old guard out of Jurassic Park!”

Peter Ferry, co-founder and commercial director at Wallet.Services, said: “CTOs see blockchain as addressing their challenges of privacy and security, while executives are rapidly learning how and where it can be applied.

“This survey confirms our view of the cross-industry potential and competitive advantage for organisations that accelerate their learning, real-world application and adoption of blockchain tech.”