It has become impossible to escape the word blockchain. From an obscure term that cropped up occasionally when people talked about Bitcoin a few years ago, the buzz around blockchain has grown tremendously, so much so that it may soon overshadow Bitcoin itself.
Blockchain technology allows entities to perform transactions with each other without relying on a central trusted third party to ensure compliance. Blockchain also ensures the transparency and integrity of the data being stored in those transactions. Due to these properties, blockchain, as a technology, has progressed far beyond financial transactions and is being used in smart (self-executing) contracts, smart property, Internet of Things, supply chain management, healthcare, ownership and royalty distribution, and decentralised autonomous organisations. Bitcoin was envisaged as a “permissionless blockchain”, wherein any node could join at any time. Further development in this field has led to “permissioned blockchains”, where only an authorised set of entities can be part of the blockchain.
With 2019 right around the corner, the time has come to reflect on the events of 2018, but more importantly, to consider what the next year holds. With a groaning bear market dampening the crypto hype, it is easy to forget that blockchain technology continues to hold much promise.
According to Forbes, the major trends for 2019 are:
Trend # 1: The arrival of Security Tokens
Trend # 2: The rise of Alternative Asset Classes – move from crypto to digital assets
Trend # 3: The creation of Decentralized Ecosystem Platforms and new business models
Trend # 4: Hybrid Models
|Area of work
|Banking services (payments, loans, investment solutions)
|Decentralized lending platform including identity attestation, risk assessment and credit scoring
|Funds & Investments
|Global online investment and digital asset management platform, crowd-sourced and AI based hedge funds, wealth management
|Decentralized exchange for crypto and fiat currencies, data feed platform
|Decentralized accounting, audit and real-time reporting ecosystem for enterprise
|Crowd-sourced insurance pools, peer to peer solutions connecting insurers, reinsurers and brokers
|Supply chain / Logistics
|Tamper-proof and transparent data-sharing, reducing intermediaries
|Decentralized healthcare information system, store, manage & exchange health data, verify origin of products.
|Transparent and decentralised database of rights and rights owners, automating royalty payments, platform for project funding, and peer-to-peer distribution
|Government / Corporations
|Decentralized communities, court systems, open and transparent decision-making, accommodating diversity and disagreements, legal contracts, secure and dispute proof electronic vote-counting systems