Interest in the blockchain technology has peaked in the last few years. Once considered the synonym for the bitcoin (and cryptocurrency), now it is clear that cryptocurrency is just one of the use cases in the whole gamut.
As part of this article, I will talk about the various advantages of blockchain technologies.
Why should I care about this?
The simplest answer is to compare the Gartner’s hype cycle for emerging technologies for the year 2016 and 2017:
Hype Cycle for 2016
Hype Cycle for 2017
Now just make one observation, where is blockchain in 2016 and where is it in 2017?
What you will notice is that in 2016, it is kind of just entering the peak of inflated expectations, while in 2017, it is almost on the way out of this phase and about to enter into Trough of Disillusionment.
What does this mean?
Let’s look at the below diagram and with this lens, let’s understand the two charts shown above:
It means that
- People were already investing in the pilot projects
- Some of the pilot projects are ready to be rolled out and other people holding on the budgets may loosen their wallet soon
- The next journey will go through the Ego Void by a lot people and closer collaborations by a few
- Currently the adoption is less than 5%, in fact, a recent news on bitcoin indicates that less than 5% Americans are using digital assets like bitcoin and the adoption rate is increasing.
Where will this be helpful?
Blockchain is useful in more than 35-industries and it is solving some of the key problems that people were uncomfortably living with. Specifically, by using the Smart Contract, Digital Currency, Strong Security, and Improved Record Keeping – the blockchain is revolutionizing the transaction based industries.
At the high level, whenever you see the following symptoms, it won’t hurt you to think of Blockchain:
- The intermediaries are eating up a certain value from the transaction value. A clear example being credit card based payment where multiple players take their cuts and delays the transactions because of their need to validate and approve
- Double spending is happening (e.g. same tickets/land title, etc. getting sold to multiple people, duplicate bills are being submitted for claims, etc)
- False Claim of the value is seen (e.g. educational certificates, job experiences, policy certificates, etc)
- It is hard to audit the system and hence people are cooking their stories (e.g. financials and taxes).
- The direct participation and execution by the people involved will help in governing things better (e.g. awarding contracts and the release of payments to the contractors)
- Contracts are being misinterpreted (e.g. during the B2B transactions, two parties may interpret the same thing based on their facts and stories), which can be simplified and potentially linked with the execution
Validating the Trends
While there is no doubt that AI has a huge role to play in making this world a better place to live, the following trend shows that people are very keen on blockchain too:
What amazed me even more is that Bitcoin is dominating the trend in a big way:
The following chart from Statista, shows a continuous increase in the user base of cryptocurrency users:
There is no debate that bitcoin is just one of the use cases of blockchain technology, however, it is also a very well documented fact that bitcoin kind of gave the name to this technology. When you look at the trend above, it just assures you that blockchain cannot be ignored.
It is true that the blockchain is relatively a new kid on the block, which is trying to establish its own legacy. It does come with a huge promise and it looks occasionally rebellious. While good people are trying to make genuine use of this technology, like any technology, this is also vulnerable to misuse. However, based on current trend and the need I do feel that blockchain is going to enable us to solve a number of problems.
At Walking Tree we have come up with a strategy to combine our current strength, of building amazing web/mobile applications, with the blockchain technology and ensure that people are able to transact value without any fuss.