Blockchain technology has garnered huge attention in the industry in the past few years. After the successful implementation of the technology in Bitcoin, the features of the technology came to fore. Since then, the technology has seen a spike in adoption across the industry. Blockchain or the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) allows users to record data, which is inherently immutable, making the technology suitable for several use-cases in the industry.
A few traditional business processes, like banking operations, have gone under transformation. Similarly, supply chain management has undergone a significant transformation. Smart contracts developed using blockchain have found use in traditional business transactions, making them more reliable, trustless, and transparent. Post the introduction of Bitcoin, several cryptocurrencies have emerged like Ether, Ethereum, LiteCoin, and more. As a result, countries like Venezuela have introduced a national cryptocurrency and others like Russia will soon join the league.
Blockchain technology is paving way for more innovation in the industry. Let’s take a look at a few trends in blockchain technology that will dominate the industry.
The application of blockchain in banking operations isn’t new. Unlike traditional business processes, banks and financial institutions don’t have to experiment much to see the benefits from it. The application of blockchain in Bitcoin has already proved the benefits of the technology. Financial institutions were quick to realize it. Consequently, the adoption of blockchain has grown and will continue to rise. According to a PwC report, 77% of financial institutions will adopt the technology by 2020.
Cryptocurrencies have garnered huge popularity since 2018. Earlier there was a lot of skepticism in issuing cryptocurrencies. Several cases of fraud were reported around the world. Some countries like China went ahead and banned Bitcoin exchanges. However, things are changing slowly and regulations are coming in place. India recently lifted the ban on cryptocurrencies. A few countries are in the process of introducing national cryptocurrency. Venezuela recently introduced Petro (Petromoneda) as its national cryptocurrency, which is backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves. Gartner predicts nearly 5 countries will introduce a national cryptocurrency by 2021.
The idea of a decentralized database is promising to governments. Normally each government agency has a separate database of residents, which makes it difficult to correlate data, and chances of error are extremely high. The adoption of blockchain will eliminate that and a unified mechanism will prevail. A common database will speed up the process of data retrieval and make the process faster and more efficient.
The government of Estonia is already using X-Road, a decentralized database of its residents, accessible by all public agencies. The blockchain network uses advanced encryption and 2-factor authentication to ensure that people control their data and be sure about its security.
According to Gartner, nearly one billion people will have their data stored on a blockchain network, without even realizing it.
Blockchain technology is still new in the industry. As the adoption of technology grows, the demand for seasoned professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the technology will increase. Also, as governments lift the ban from cryptocurrencies new roles like community management, Bitcoin Analyst, community manager, etc. will grow. However, as blockchain requires a unique skill set, the supply of talent will below. To acquire skills, blockchain certifications and courses and training will be the go-to means for skill development.
Smart contracts are one of the best use-cases of blockchain. These are self-executable contracts that get executed after meeting the agreed-upon requirements. Application of smart contracts in the current business processes will eliminate the middle-men, add more accountability to stakeholders, and bring more transparency in the processes. The current smart –contracts don’t bind involved parties legally. Smart contracts that bind parties by law will be prevalent soon.
Blockchain technology is evolving fast. Soon, we will be using the technology before we even realize it.