We’ve all heard the term ‘blockchain’ or ‘blockchain technology’ many times as of 2018, but its impact and mainstream adoption is not fully understood or acknowledged. Blockchain and crypto adoption are like parallel lines with very different adoption stories. Bitcoin and Ethereum can only do so much, however blockchain — well, it’s another level of real. For instance, Deloitte projects that by 2025 fully 10% of global GDP will be built on blockchain applications.
A recent report by technology research company ReportLinker shows that Blockchain technology in the U.S. manufacturing sector is expected to grow significantly from 2020–2025. It alone will be worth $500 million by 2025.
Blockchain is all about efficiency, trust and cost savings. It’s also heralding a more transparent world where businesses are more accountable to their clients and customers. Ethereum with its lack of present day scalability and throughput issues is still casting doubt on whether public blockchain models are even viable.
However, that’s not stopping Blockchain’s assault on our lives. I’ll give you an example. Recently Mastercard was awarded a patent for a method to partition a blockchain, making it capable of storing multiple transaction types and formats. The patent filing was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Oct. 9. Meanwhile, technology companies like IBM and Alibaba have numerous projects and patents, and they are not alone.
However, the variety of blockchain that’s likely to dominate is centralized and not decentralized. According to CNBC, this technology could help drive down the cost of financial transactions and provide governments with a way to track how their currency is being used. That’s not to say crypto assets won’t come even more into the foreground. This is primarily due to a few reasons that could see another crypto bull run come into being in the next few weeks:
- A pending Bitcoin ETF
- Ethereum Futures launch
- Coinbase exploring more altcoins
- The rise of crypto funds
- Less volatility in Bitcoin’s price
- The evolution of dozens of alternatives to Ethereum
- Mainstream adoption of Ripple (XRP)
- Launch of Bakkt and other digital asset platforms
- Increased regulation to protect investors
- Improved legal framework such as in Malta
- Wall Street and Silicon Valley showing more interest in the crypto space
- Reversal of Crypto Ad bans for cryptocurrency exchanges
Public blockchains are likely not the new internet or any kind of a world computer as they claim. However, more blockchain technology is being embedded into our lives each month, each year and each decade. Like the Cloud or mobile, it’s an added layer of our techno-business world.
In 2018 we know Blockchain is so much more than a kind of FinTech.
The blockchain is a simple digital platform for recording and verifying transactions so that other people can’t erase them later — and anyone can see them. Distributed ledger technology has myriad applications. There are 2,054 altcoins on coinmarketcap, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what blockchain is.
Blockchain has important problems to solve and it will take time. For instance, the Ad-driven media side of the internet needs to be substantially reworked to create a better internet. User tracking, ad retargeting, clickbait and social media hacking have led to nearly a dystopia of information on the internet. Obtrusive ads mar our enjoyment of video, and social media data harvesting has been nothing but catastrophic.
Blockchain technology- which is at the heart of bitcoin and other virtual currencies – must continue to evolve our concept not of what the internet is but what the internet should be. Digital asset platforms will evolve, new kinds of investments will continue to flourish, more regulated ICOs will one day come into being.
The dream of permissionless decentralized alternatives for the internet is important, the idea of a truly free internet. Blockchain must not just be a way banks, tech companies and businesses become even more profitable, but a way for consumers to lead better and higher-quality lives. In a world of open-source software and collaborative software development, blockchain must be more than just the next Big Thing. It must be about making humanity’s time on Earth more aligned with our collective future.
The assault of Blockchain and Blockchain technology on our lives must adapt according to the free market of consumer values. The future of blockchain must sync with Millennials and GenZ, who care about the planet differently and about how businesses should work to support and not exploit people.