Blockchain is seen as a major area of interest among enterprises looking to invest in deep-tech solutions, a new report suggests.
An industry-wide survey conducted by quantum computing firm Seeqc reveals that 67% of executive decision-makers fear falling behind competitors when it comes to emerging technologies. With this in mind, 57% of large enterprises are actively developing deep-tech solutions in order to solve specific business problems, and blockchain is among their top five areas of interest.
"Deep tech" is an applied technology that aims to solve previously insurmountable problems using new scientific techniques.
The report by Seeqc reveals machine learning and artificial intelligence to be the main areas of interest for firms pursuing deep-tech solutions, with 50% of respondents naming them their number one concern.
The next most common deep-tech application prioritized by companies is 3D printing on a large scale (35%), followed by renewable energy solutions (34%) and quantum computing (34%).
Some 32% of respondents highlighted blockchain and cryptocurrency as their main focus, ahead of drones and advanced robotics (29%), climate change mitigation (29%), satellites and space technology (25%), autonomous vehicles (23%), and neuromorphic computing (23%).
When queried as to why they were pursuing deep-tech implementations, a majority of respondents said they had witnessed competitors making inroads in the space and felt compelled to keep up.
Accompanying these companies’ willingness to explore new technologies, however, is a common fear experienced by most in the cryptocurrency space. The report reveals that 87% of executive decision-makers have fears and anxieties concerning their pursuit of deep tech, with 74% admitting they fear making the wrong investment.
The companies surveyed said their main area of investment was in established corporations that are already pursuing deep tech (29%), followed by startups and venture-backed companies (25%). Companies also said they were pursuing internally developed solutions (24%) and investing in research groups either funded by governments or universities (21%).
While the cryptocurrency market continues to thrive — with several coins hitting new all-time highs by the time of publication — investment in deep tech is not expected to pay off immediately. The CEO of Seeqc, John Levy, said it would be years before deep-tech solutions reach maturity.
“It will be years before the average person has access or reason to use something so advanced as a quantum computer or benefit from a fully autonomous vehicle, but the enterprise applications for these technologies are already making themselves apparent in today’s most data-intensive industries,” said Levy.
Notably, 35% of respondents said the biggest challenge they face in pursuit of deep tech is navigating the regulatory landscape in their given jurisdictions. Regulation of cryptocurrencies is still an ongoing process and could conceivably shift the priorities of the enterprises included in the survey.
In April, the World Economic Forum’s head of data, blockchain and digital assets, Sheila Warren, warned that the cryptocurrency industry would soon be subject to a “dramatic” round of regulation as interest in the space grows.