Less hype, more action

More and more companies are adopting blockchains – and it's not just tech and finance

Hi all,

You may have come across some AI-related news in recent days/weeks/months. It's a fascinating technology, but it's also a typical tech hype – at least for now.

Blockchains had their hype moment a few years ago. It didn't immediate translate into reality. Now, however, it seems like the technology is increasingly adapted.

So what’s up?

Coinbase just released their quarterly "State of Crypto" report. It shows that more and more large companies are working on blockchain projects – and that smaller businesses are not far behind.

Let’s get started! 🤓

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange which has long been at the forefront of promoting cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The company was founded in 2012 and has been listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange since April 2021.

With such a long history in a sector that has only been around since the Bitcoin launch in 2009, Coinbase's regular State of Crypto reports are worth reading. (Read it with a grain of salt though. Positive news about crypto/blockchain adoption are likely to be highlighted by a cryptocurrency exchange.)

The most recent report (available here) looks at blockchain-related initiatives by Fortune 500 companies. In the first quarter of 2024, more than half of them were working on onchain projects. Consumer-facing payment systems are merely one of many examples.

Moreover, many applications are at an advanced stage already. That's progress compared with the previous two years. We should expect an increasing number of apps to be available in the near future.

Tech and finance are ahead

Unsurprisingly, the tech sector is at the forefront of blockchain adoption. Coinbase highlights examples from Google and Microsoft. At the same time, there are also use cases in healthcare and hospitality.

The financial industry is also very likely to be impacted by blockchain adoption. While this will mostly take place in the background, it opens up opportunities for improved or completely new services.

Arguably the most relevant implication for companies of all sizes: payments may become faster, cheaper and more security. Stablecoins are already an established part of the crypto industry – and are set to grow even more.

Barriers to blockchain adoption remain

Despite the positive outlook, there are significant barriers to onchain engagement. According to the Coinbase report, the most important one is now a "lack of trusted talent with the right skills" (mentioned by 55% of Fortune 500 executives taking part in the survey).

It's a big increase from 30% in 2023 – and it makes sense. With more and more companies engaging with blockchain technology, the number of software engineers, developers or project managers with the necessary skills is not increasing fast enough.

Other important aspects are a "lack of understanding of the technology" (40%, compared to 27% in 2023) and "uncertainty on how to get started" (23%, up from 11% in 2023).

Both of these points are closely linked – and they underline that education is critical. The crypto industry has long been plagued by negative headlines. Meanwhile, many projects and companies have not been very good at explaining their USP or even their day-to-day work to a mainstream audience outside of crypto.

Regulation is another important concern, yet it's noteworthy that it is now less of an issue than 12 months ago. With 34% of Fortune 500 executives mentioning the regulatory landscape, concerns remain widespread – but it's an improvement on 46% in 2023.


The largest public companies in the US are increasingly adopting and integrating blockchain technology. For small businesses, the situation is similar. Many companies in this sector of the economy are likely to look for job applicants with crypto knowledge for legal, finance or IT roles.

While these results of the survey were based on responses from US-based companies, the results in many other countries are likely to be similar. Shortages in qualified personnel and a lack of regulatory clarity are hardly limited to the US after all.

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That’s the end for today! 😢

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