Coming to ten years since it was first described by Stuart Haber and W Scott Stornetta as a cryptographically secured chain of blocks, blockchain remains a torrid argument among investors, developers and enterprises looking to understand what the technology is trying to solve.
Maya Cotton, Information and Communication Technology industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan pointed out that existing IT systems are not fit-for-purpose when it comes to addressing the most pressing systemic problems of the time. She added that enterprises are being forced to adapt to complex structural change as the technology industry undergoes a paradigm shift that undermines long-held assumptions.
In 2019 and 2020, enterprise blockchain solutions reached a minimum viable product (MVP). Since then technical barriers are falling fast in the building of a new network of networks. Hot spots of development are now making visible the shape of things to come and the leaders who are likely to dominate.
This is being led, first, by transitions in global financial and monetary systems where blockchain capabilities enable trust and digital connective tissue. All industry verticals will eventually be impacted to some degree. Immense growth opportunities exist for those who can see and capture them; they include:
Global trade: Multiple process rails within the international trade ecosystem are migrating to blockchain-enabled networks and applications. Within trade, the challenge to supply chains posed by COVID-19 arrives at a time when they were already being retooled to capture 50x-100x gains in efficiency, creating a timely synergy.
Cryptocurrencies, digital finance and the global monetary system: Dominant players in these systems, including the world’s largest financial institutions and central banks, are expected to roll out cryptocurrency strategies in the near term. The foundations of a global blockchain network are already in place while new services are being reimagined and programmed.
Healthcare: This ecosystem represents some of the highest-complexity and highest-reward opportunities. The coronavirus stress-test has laid bare the many cracks in these systems that need to be filled.
Social impact ecosystems to make a better-interconnected world: In the blockchain multiverse, developing markets and social enterprises are attracting attention as blockchain is used to provide solutions to problems in ways that were not possible before. “All organizations and institutions will be challenged to keep track of the moving pieces and identify the ecosystem levers to push to ensure their near-term sustainability and long-term relevance. Standard models of platformization, productization, and servicization are giving way to strategic projects and collaborations among unique sets of players,” concluded Cotton