Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Observatory: 2019/2020 research results

The Final Conference was held on 17 January to present the results of the research “Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Observatory” of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano.
The blockchain is confirmed as a topic of great interest worldwide: there is a lot of turmoil in this regard and there are really many companies that start using this technology for operational projects; investments are growing, even if all in all they are still contained:

  • Increase in both announcements and projects compared to 2018.
  • Asia and Europe are the most active continents in 2019, with 143 and 128 cases respectively.
  • The United States, South Korea and China are the most active countries, with 53, 31 and 29 cases respectively.
  • In Europe there is turmoil in the United Kingdom (17 cases), in Italy (16 cases) and in Russia (16 cases).
  • The most active companies in 2019 continue to be banks, followed by public administrations and actors from the agri-food world.
  • The processes to which these technologies apply are payment management, document management and supply chain management.
  • As regards the actual implementations of 2019 (158 projects), the most active sector is always the financial sector (67 registered projects). Followed by public administrations (25 projects), agri-food (15 projects) and logistics (11 projects).
  • Main topics: payments, data and document management, traceability.
  • Italy is among the top 10 nations in the world for blockchain operational projects carried out in 2019 (16 projects).
  • Blockchain investments by Italian companies grew 100% compared to 2018, but are still very limited (€ 30 million in 2019, € 15 million in 2018).
  • The 2019 projects focus on Agri-food, Finance, Government traceability. In the banking sector, projects are being carried out concerning ecosystem solutions at Italian or European level, with the aim of improving reconciliations and interbank movements.


One of the main problems remains the low level of knowledge and the difficulty in finding applications that exploit the true potential of the blockchain. Among large Italian companies, the adoption block is in fact attributed to the level of knowledge, skills and allocation of resources. In 2019, among the large companies interviewed by Politecnico, the number of hesitants towards blockchain technologies decreases and that of enthusiasts and dreamers increases.