IDC: Blockchain Spending to Hit $9.2 Billion by 2021

Peter Breen
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Spending on blockchain solutions is forecast to reach $2.1 billion in 2018, more than double the $945 million spent last year, according to IDC's inaugural "Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide."

IDC expects blockchain spending to continue growing at a strong pace throughout the company's 2016-2021 forecast period, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 81.2% and total spending of $9.2 billion in 2021.

“Interest and investment in blockchain and distributed ledger technology is accelerating as enterprises aggregate data into secure, sequential and immutable blockchain ledgers, transforming their businesses and operations,” said Bill Fearnley, Jr., IDC's research director for worldwide blockchain Strategies.

The IDC Blockchain Spending Guide provides spending data for 10 technologies across 19 industries and 14 use cases in nine geographic regions, using distributed ledger technology to offer a comprehensive analysis of the emerging blockchain market and provide IT decision-makers with information on the direction of spending.

 “Many technology vendors and service providers are collaborating and working with consortiums, such as the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and the Hyperledger Projects, to develop innovative solutions that improve processes such as post-trade processing, tracking and tracing shipments in the supply chain, and transaction records for auditing and compliance,” Fearnley said.

The U.S. will make the largest blockchain investments and deliver more than 40% of worldwide spending throughout the forecast period. Western Europe is predicted to be the next largest region, followed by China and the Asia/Pacific. All nine regions studied will see robust spending growth during the forecast period, with Latin America and Japan leading the way indicating CAGRs of 152.5% and 127.3%, respectively.

“2017 was the year of experimentation as enterprises realized both the benefits and challenges of blockchain; 2018 will be a crucial stage for enterprises as they make a huge leap from proof-of-concept projects to full blockchain deployments,” said Stacey Soohoo, research manager for customer insights & analysis. “As a leader in blockchain innovation and integration, the U.S. will continue to invest … throughout the forecast, spending heavily in financial services, manufacturing and other industries.”

The distribution and services sector ($510 million in 2018) will see strong investments from the retail and professional services industries, while the manufacturing and resources sector ($448 million) will be driven by the discrete and process manufacturing industries. In the U.S., the distribution and services sector will see the largest blockchain investments.

From a technology perspective, combined IT services and business services will account for roughly 75% of all blockchain spending throughout the forecast, with spending fairly well balanced across the two categories. Blockchain platform software will be the largest category of spending outside of the services category and one of the fastest-growing categories overall, along with security software.

IDC’s Spending Guides offer a predictive view of key technology markets including consumer technology, telecommunications and information technology.