Regulatory uncertainty and trust are major barriers to blockchain adoption among businesses, according to a study released August 27 by ‘Big Four’ auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

A new study entitled “Blockchain is here. What’s your next move?” conducted by PwC examined 600 executives in 15 countries on their development of blockchain and opinions about its potential. The countries participating in the survey included Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, the UAE, the U.K., and the U.S.

Respondents ranked regulatory uncertainty, lack of trust among users, and ability to bring a network together as the top three barriers to blockchain adoption. Blockchain leader at PwC, Steve Davies, said:

“Businesses tell us that they don’t want to be left behind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its development, concerns on trust and regulation remain. Blockchain by its very definition should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn.”

According to the study, four in five executives worldwide, which represent 84 percent of respondents, have blockchain initiatives in progress, 25 percent of which have fully live blockchain implementations or launched pilot projects.

46 percent of respondents identified the financial sector as the leader in terms of blockchain development in the next three to five years. Respondents also identified sectors with emerging potential for the same period of time as energy and utilities (14 percent), healthcare (14 percent), and industrial manufacturing (12 percent).

The U.S. and China were identified by respondents as leading markets for blockchain development, polling at 29 percent and 18 percent respectively. Respondents also predicted that within the next three to five years, the center of influence will shift to China (30 percent) from the U.S. (18 percent).

Last month, the scientific research institute under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in collaboration with Internet service provider Tencent Holdings published a report on blockchain in financial services.

According to the report, blockchain will enhance “the transparency of financial transactions, strengthen the flexibility of system operation, and automate processes, thus affecting the record keeping, accounting and payment settlement methods of financial services.”