Enterprise blockchain in 2020: simplify, connect, transact

This is a guest opinion post from David E. Rutter, founder and CEO of enterprise blockchain firm R3.

By the standards of most technologies, blockchain ought to still be in its infancy. The modern computer, for example, has been around for over 80 years. Cloud computing is still gaining market share in many industries, despite having been around since 1996.

Yet the blockchain industry has matured at an unprecedented rate. After an explosion of interest and innovation in the first few years, business leaders are now becoming familiar with the technology’s strengths and are clarifying their ideas about where and how to implement it.

In response, the industry is consolidating as it becomes clear which models are meeting the enterprise need. 2020 is going to be an important year for enterprise blockchain to capitalise on this consolidation via real-world network deployments. We at R3 are organising ourselves around one mantra to help make this a reality: “simplify, connect, transact.”


Complexity is the enemy of adoption in enterprise technology. For blockchain to be practical and scalable across many different organisations with very different goals and pre-existing technologies, the underlying platforms need to strive for simplicity and flexibility.

Organisations want to simplify how they launch or join blockchain networks. Business sponsors do not want deployment and operations to delay their time to demonstrable value, and will want their blockchain nodes to ‘live’ where their current infrastructure lives.

This means that deploying a blockchain node needs to be as simple as booting up a laptop for the first time, and connecting to peers on a network should be pain-free, regardless if the node is deployed on-premises or across a single- or multi-cloud environment. The leading blockchain platforms in 2020 will need to be able to ‘deploy anywhere’ with the fewest clicks, allowing customers to focus on business value, not deployment…

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