Around the time of January 2016, there was actually one popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, which did hold a unicorn ($1 billion) valuation. Now of course, there are nearly 40 crypto-unicorns, with more of them entering the market every day.
“How many unbanked people have been banked? How much censorship-resistant commerce meant for the common people has been enabled by us? How many dapps (distributed applications) have we created by that do have substantial usage? How much value has been stored in smart contracts that actually do anything interesting? Such questions do arise in one’s mind and one needs to find answers for them.
By the end of 2018, we are most likely to have a far better idea of how the existing technology will indeed fit into the fabric of our present society.
Let us have a look at 7 blockchain predictions that are meant to look out for in 2018 and some companies that are driving these trends:
1. More people cum institutions to understand blockchain technology:
The blockchain is, of course, making much progress by entering into the mainstream world. There are of course blockchain groups that do pop up everywhere, from college campuses to even small cities. In fact, soon “blockchain classes” will be held at universities. Group discussions will be held on cryptocurrencies.
The recent price hike has indeed caught the attention of the public eye, and more people are keen to understand what is happening. Some blockchain companies are creating global solutions to crypto volatility. The idea is to reduce the friction that exists in costs in commerce and investing.
In 2018, blockchain will no doubt move into the mainstream world and people will further find the need to understand what is happening. That will further lead to more knowledgeable citizens, and also on to more people who are well equipped to be able to start some more new blockchain projects. This process is also meant to encourage new crypto enthusiasts to invest.
2. Tech giants and B2B participants will emerge.
Google has been rather one of the largest ever corporate blockchain investors, and this will continue in 2018.
Amazon is also making strides as well. They, in fact, announced a partnership with R3’s Corda in December 2017. Several tech companies are expanding as well as building upon a blockchain platform.
3. We will see many more use cases and companies.
A wide range of companies is entering into the arena of the blockchain.
There are unique ICOs entering this field. Major set-ups have taken a step forward. A number of companies are making use of the blockchain to improve their daily life. There are many emerging marketplaces that are hoping to take advantage of the vast amounts of private data. Developers can buy the data to create machine-learning algorithms, and then also sell the products that they tend to build in order to enable better business decision making.
In 2018, more of such companies will indeed emerge and also become an integrated part of the existing global economy.
4. Crypto will be used as an everyday payment mechanism.
More companies are indeed making announcements that they will take crypto as a required payment. The list currently does include currency that can be also made use of to be able to purchase.
The industry hopes to create a utility token that is highly translatable. These utility tokens can also be transferred between rewards programs, merchants as well as banks.
5. There will be a surge in smart contract applications.
Smart contracts ensure a payment or action under certain criteria. Startups are also leveraging this core technology in several ways. Another interesting startup is trying to leverage smart contracts in order to become the most revered global platform that is made exclusively for players to bet upon anything, anytime and also against anyone. These smart contracts are very valuable to several industries. They get rid of the need for intermediaries and also allow everyday transactions to run extremely smoothly.
6. Blockchain will reshape the present developing world.
A major benefit of blockchain technology is how one can apply it to solve various global issues and open up accessibility where it is not available.
Another interesting initiative is looking to help the refugees integrate, both socially as well as economically, into their new respective homes.
7. Blockchain will disrupt deep-rooted industries.
The foundation of blockchain technology is indeed based upon disruption. Other industries that face disruption include media, logistics, healthcare, and finance.