Carla La Croce
Carla La Croce (Senior Research Analyst, European Industry Solutions, Customer Insights & Analysis)

Here we are! Blockchain is the 2018 keyword! We described a lot what is it and which are the disruptive features of this technology. And we know that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies have a global nature, as their main objective is to facilitate the exchange of digital and physical assets among third parties. Nonetheless, the collaborative approach, data privacy rules, and the vibrant start-up ecosystems are poised to shape the blockchain space in Europe and make it much different from other regions.

IDC believes blockchain implementation in Europe has unique features, so it identifies six patterns of adoption and summarizes the six key factors that result in a differentiated pattern for implementation of those technologies in the region. Read below three findings from this report:

  1. Blockchain start-up hubs in Europe carry an unprecedented punch in the global fight for money and talent. A different analysis, for example on “hubs” or locations where talent congregates, show that big European cities are home to some of the most active blockchain developer countries, and are dominant hubs in the region. There is an unprecedented representation of European companies in the start-up and scale-up ecosystem, due to less dependence on large U.S.-based venture capital funds.
  2. Blockchain adoption in Europe will first be shaped by (and eventually reshape) data privacy regulation. There are still barriers to data management inside blockchain applications under the GDPR framework: from the one hand, all data stored in blockchains are personal data and falls under the GDPR regulation, even if encrypted or hashed. This means that users can always leverage the “right to be forgotten”. On the other hand, it is not always possible to do that. The challenge for the future is to set up the ability for blockchain software to leverage the identity management features to guarantee private data control to users.
  3. Blockchain spending in Europe started off slowly, but it is now growing faster than anywhere else: despite the slow start related to the concentration of activity among large spenders, IDC predicts an acceleration in 2019, due to a compound result of enterprises moving to production, a wave of local start-ups driving marketing and sales activities on the back of large funding, and initiatives trickling down to midmarket customers.


According to IDC’s new Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide, Europe will be the second-largest investor in blockchain technologies, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80.2% for 2017–2022, closing the gap with the U.S., the biggest blockchain investor. 2017 was a significant year for blockchain in Europe, with companies asking themselves how blockchain solutions can help simplify, improve, and secure their businesses.

IDC believes that 2018 is still the year of blockchain, and European companies are showing increasing interest, supported by growing investments. Companies recognize the importance of the technology and are starting to explore how it can be deployed in their business, going beyond pilots and identifying the best use cases. And a lot is happening here, in a vibrant and exciting European environment.