A term that gets thrown about a lot these days is ‘blockchain adoption’, it has slowly grown into something with more meaning over the years, this is because the adoption of the blockchain is now a very realistic idea. Two years ago, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) could’ve been a way to disrupt the traditional means of finance and fundraising. In addition to this, the insane growth of Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market saw everyone with an extremely positive outlook on their investments in cryptocurrency. All in, these things have contributed well to the future of this technology.
As a result of the recent crypto winter, the hype train that crypto arrived on has departed, leaving the mainstream at a loss when it comes to cryptocurrency. 2018 seems to have truly marked the end for blockchain technology.
Or did it?
Yes, the cryptocurrency hype train might have departed, however, the hype around the future of blockchain adoption is hotter than ever.
Now sure, the current level of hype for cryptocurrencies is a lot less than what it was a few years ago, but this lack of hype and over the top excitement had a sense of uneasiness initially but that has somewhat created a space for the real technological advances to happen.
There are three key factors for what is driving the adoption of blockchain which is the private sector, public sector and the general public.
If we ignore the government bodies that are taking an interest in blockchain for a minute, the next big thing in the private sector that is pushing for adoption is huge private institutions. Specifically, the ones that have shaped the world into what is today. There are a lot of these institutions that you will most definitely have heard of and eventually, they will encourage smaller companies to experiment with blockchain technology.
- Allianz - the insurance company based in Germany have been putting a token to the test for moving money between its international affiliates to reduce currency conversion costs and other inefficiencies between the units.
- Amazon Web Services - the blockchain business cloud Kaleido has recently partnered with AWS for Amazon to offer a full stack blockchain enterprise platform on the cloud that will implement blockchain services with AWS services.
- Walmart - the famous American multinational retail store has partnered with IBM to use blockchain to improve food safety via enhanced supply chain tracking.
- Tencent and Huawei - these two firms are spearheading a blockchain consortium of more than 100 different Chinese companies called Fisco. This is also launching its own blockchain focusing on faster transactions while also providing ‘observatory’ nodes for Government regulators and auditors.
- UN - the United Nations is also exploring blockchain technology for climate action and the sustainability of the planet. Therefore, Climate Chain Coalition was born.
These are just a few example of bigger firms which have put in the time and effort for blockchain technology. It is possible to think that these blockchain-as-a-service solutions will start making its way to smaller business.
The next few years could be vital for the advancement of blockchain in the private sector
Even though the markets aren’t performing as well as we’d hope, there seems to be news surfacing every week about a government body that is starting a new blockchain initiative. If a government starts to accept blockchain, it can be seen as a validation of blockchain’s massive potential.
Here are some examples of how a country backs blockchain technology;
A bill was recently introduced by the Washington State Senate that encourages the development of distributed ledger and blockchain technology. The US bill provides legal recognition in digital signatures and licenses. This is an attempt to validate blockchain as a cryptographically secured database.
The Italian government had initially announced the first set of regulation for Blockchain technologies. The law states that now any record on the blockchain can be deemed as legal validation. Despite this, it still needs presidential approval, this is a great move by a government to make blockchain technology more legitimate.
The government in the capital of Croatia are hoping to adopt blockchain and implement it into the daily running of the country. Authorities in Zagreb is going to look at safeguarding sensitive documents and the monitoring of business processes of local companies. In addition to this, blockchain technology was cited to be used as a way to keep official documents and digital certificates.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other countries in the Middle East are allegedly launching official interbank cryptocurrency. At the moment, the project is still in its pilot stage without much information being given. The aim of this is to get a better understanding of blockchain technology in facilitating cross-border payments.
In just five years, the number of WhatsApp users increased to 1.5 billion users which is 20 percent of the world’s population.
As reported by Hackernoon:
“Today, it is unthinkable for someone to be without one of these messaging apps. As the world continues to be connected by the availability of the internet, we should be able to see blockchain being adopted by everyone.”
On the Horizon
Even though solutions have cropped up to the address the issue with more colleges and universities putting in resources and focus on blockchain development. The existing developers are encouraged to explore blockchain technicalities. Experimenting is the next step after spreading the word about blockchain and with governments and big companies spearheading the charge, blockchain adoption is just on the horizon.
As you can see, the concept of blockchain technology is not dead. The future for these technologies is bright and indeed, we see a very bright future for crypto, distributed ledger technologies and everything to do with the blockchain industry. Adoption might seem far off but when you scratch the surface, it’s far closer than we think.