IBM is regarded as having the strongest credentials in the blockchain sector, well ahead of competitors, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Almost 400 company founders, executives, managers and IT leaders responded to Juniper’s Blockchain Enterprise Survey. Amongst enterprises either actively considering, or in the process of deploying blockchain technology, more than 4 in 10 (43 per cent) ranked IBM first – more than twice the proportion selecting second-placed Microsoft (20 per cent).

According to the research, blockchain technology leaders were:

  1. IBM
  2. Microsoft
  3. Accenture

The study said this reflected IBM’s high-profile R&D engagement with initiatives such as Hyperledger and its extensive list of blockchain clients across an array of key verticals and use cases, including banking, asset tracking and the music industry.

Amongst respondents who were prepared to state their levels of investment in blockchain, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) said they had already invested more than $100,000 by the end of 2016, while 91 per cent of these companies confirmed that they would be spending at least this amount in 2017.

The study said that this suggested most initial investments had delivered results that were sufficiently encouraging for companies to pursue more extensive trials and/or integrations.

The accompanying report, however, said bitcoin blockchain is ill-suited for most commercial deployments. It urged companies to focus on private blockchains for commercial deployments, rather than utilise public chains such as Bitcoin.

It argued that most corporate applications would require the capability to restrict access to permissioned users, while companies would also need to have a degree of control over the development of the blockchain on which their systems have become dependent.

According to research author Dr Windsor Holden, “Even if companies conduct initial testing using a public blockchain, in most cases the shortcomings of these chains should disqualify them from many use cases, including financial settlement, public sector deployments, logistics and land registry.”

Read more in Juniper’s complimentary whitepaper, ‘Which Industries are the Best Fit for Blockchain?‘.

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