Irrelevance, unfamiliarity with the technology, and confidence in existing anti-bribery and corruption programs were some reasons cited in a global survey

In an annual online survey of 700 executives in 14 markets (50 respondents each) across the globe about the state of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) programs worldwide, 35% of APAC respondents had plans to incorporate blockchain technologies into their ABC programs, while 22% exhibited higher use of blockchain technologies in their ABC program compared to the US & Canada (13%) and Latin America (11%); but trailed Europe (27%) and the Middle East (46%).

Also, 38% of mainland Chinese respondents and 30% of Hong Kong respondents were already using blockchain within their ABC programs, while 38% in China and 34% in Hong Kong had plans to incorporate blockchain technologies into their ABC programs “in the near future”.

The survey, held across Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and the United States, also resulted in the following data:

  • 29% of APAC respondents were not looking to incorporate blockchain into their ABC program, in line with the global trend of around 51% of non-blockchain adopters citing irrelevancy to their business, followed by around 22% citing a lack of understanding of the technology.
  • In Hong Kong, 33% of respondents cited lack of relevance for not incorporating blockchain into their ABC programs, while 50% noted they were unfamiliar with the technology.  In China, this was 43% and 29% respectively.
  • 13% of global respondents cited by regulatory implications except in Hong Kong and China, where 0% were not concerned about such implications.
  • 56% of Hong Kong and 68% of China respondents showed confidence in their ABC programs capabilities to address cryptocurrency risks, higher than the 50% for the APAC region. China respondents’ confidence in their ABC programs was among the highest levels globally, trailing Saudi Arabia (84%) and the United Arab Emirates (76%).
  • Globally, the use of blockchain as part of an ABC program accounted for 52%.

According to David Liu, Regional Managing Director (APAC), Kroll, which commissioned the annual survey, the data shows a gradual increase in awareness about, and use of, blockchain technology within the compliance and risk management functions. “As the crypto space and its financial ramifications keep growing, this technology will bring in its track, new anti-bribery and corruption and anti-money laundering (AML) challenges,” Liu said.