Having analyzed the history of blockchain, it’s impossible to deny the visible progress that it has achieved. The development is evolving at a tremendous speed: today, companies in many business sectors see tangible benefits of distributed registry technology and intend to implement it. For example, there is a wide usage of blockchain in logistics, while technology giants implement it to provide increased security for their devices.
From obscure technology available only to computer geeks, blockchain is turning into a real solution for global corporations. Today we want to talk about the main trends that have formed around this technology over the past decade.
Despite the relative youth of the technology, companies are trying to introduce it into real life, taking into account its capabilities and potential. Today, blockchain is indispensable in supply chain management, because the technology helps to eliminate the problem of inefficiency that is so spread in traditional models. Thus, the largest manufacturers Volvo and Ford, the wholesale and retail network Walmart and even Russian railway exploit the opportunities of blockchain! Nestle traces the origin of coffee, Amazon controls the supply of tea, and Lamborghini checks the authenticity of cars with the help of blockchain.
Blockchain is also used in the energy industry. Thus, Iberdrola, a well-known producer and supplier of electricity in Spain, monitors energy sources using a distributed registry in order to give consumers a guarantee that their product is “green”. And International Chamber of Commerce uses blockchain to reduce carbon emissions in commercial aviation.
One of the most discussed ideas for the technology application is its use in voting. Negotiations on implementation are still underway, but perhaps the use of blockchain will make political elections more honest and transparent.
One of the most important trends that came in 2020 is the adoption of blockchain by states. While some conservative regulators are actively struggling against any hints of digital transformation, large state-owned companies launch pilot projects and massively enter into partnerships with blockchain solution providers.
Today, for example, central banks in almost fifty countries pay great attention to the blockchain implementation, and many of them seek to launch national cryptocurrencies in the near future. So, the People's Republic of China takes this issue more than seriously: the active use of blockchain technology is indicated even in the country's five-year development plan.
In an attempt to keep up with technological progress and competitor nations, central banks are testing blockchain for selling securities, making automatic margin payments, and many other operations. Banks also enter into partnerships and even buy edgy fintech startups in order to be the first to integrate distributed registry technology and patent payment systems based on smart contracts.
Chinese Central Bank intends to integrate blockchain not only to fasten cross-border payments, but also to completely “digitize” the economy. This applies both to the development of the blockchain network for the sphere of trade financing, and the launch of the digital renminbi. Analysts continue to make predictions about how a national cryptocurrency can change the financial world, but so far one thing is clear – it will change it dramatically.
Over the past decade, many blockchain associations and ecosystems have been formed. Technology giants create their own consortia to develop blockchain solutions. For example, Samsung, SK Telecom, LG UPlus and Koscom have united into an alliance to develop a distributed identification system in smartphones. At the same time carriers and software providers work together to create a supply chain management system. So did the representatives of Tesla, CargoSmart and Cosco, who use the blockchain to track freight traffic and exchange data in real time.
The number of such associations will only grow, because each company is trying not only to succeed among competitors, but also to facilitate its efforts with the help of advanced tool.
Over the past decade, we observed a trend towards an investment decrease in the blockchain solutions development sector. After ICO boom in 2017, the interest of individual venture investors is slowly creeping down. So, in 2019, the volume of investments fell by 56% compared to the previous year. However, it doesn’t mean that the technology itself is becoming less popular – only the funding sources are changing.
There are organizations which willingly help the development of blockchain companies appearing on the market. In the spring of 2019, Pantera Venture Fund III was launched which provided $160 million and Proof of Capital which doled out $50 million. Later, the European Investment Fund decided to support blockchain projects by allocating 100 million euros.
Perhaps funds launch, growing interest of IT giants, banks and states to the possibilities of blockchain, as well as successful practical application will ensure the attraction of new investors to the industry. And 2020 will become the starting point when blockchain technology will be associated with the word “potential” ...
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