“Blockchain and crypto is in its infancy,” says SRAX COO Kristoffer Nelson. Yet, the cryptocurrency wave is coming in larger and faster than the biggest tech innovations thus far, even the rise of the Internet. In fact, the price of Bitcoin rose almost 2,000 percent from $1,000 in January 2017 to over $19,000 at its peak in December 2017. Also, new study projected the global blockchain market will be worth $20 billion in 2024.
Crypto may be the hottest topic of the year, but it’s the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies that is so attractive for businesses. The biggest advantages of blockchain come from its decentralized structure which promises transparency, user-controlled networks, and reduced costs – all major challenges people in tech, media, and advertising face every day. So how will blockchain evolve in the new year? We’ve pulled together the top 5 predictions for 2018 from the blockchain and crypto experts themselves.
1. Increased regulation will legitimize ICOs.
Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that certain cryptoassets should be classified as securities and ICOs should be regulated accordingly. “Of the 230 ICOs in 2017, many took place off the back of nothing more than an idea, a team of developers, and little to no due diligence. This year, regulators will take a firm stance on ICOs … In the short run this will lead to a fall in prices and trading volumes. But in the long run, it will help legitimize the industry.” – Julia Morrongiello via Forbes
“Many of the best practice initiatives will mature and take a sensible approach to involving regulators and protecting investors whilst maintaining the innovation that makes the ICO compelling.” – Simon Taylor via 11:FS
2. More “blockchain pretenders” will rise.
Autonomous Research forecasts there will be at least 100 more instances this year of companies adding the word “blockchain” to their name or announcing a pivot to blockchain technology – like Long Island Iced Tea Corp. did when they changed their name to Long Blockchain (LBCC). “An academic study found that during the Dot-Com bubble the instances of name gaming went from 13 in 1998 to 126 in 1999.” But, as noted in prediction #1, increased regulation will weed out the pretenders and legitimize the industry. – Lex Sokolin via Investor’s Business Daily.
3. Digital and social media conglomerates will embrace it.
Blockchain technology poses a threat to digital conglomerates, such as Facebook and Google, who use centralized models for capturing data. “But this year, we will see these companies embrace cryptocurrencies and even many of the other blockchain technology applications.” – Don Tapscott via Quartz Media
“We will likely see social media platforms such as Reddit, Medium or YouTube integrate a blockchain token to reward and incentivize their content creators … In general, we will see more media platforms using digital currencies to reward users for their involvement.” – Jonathan Chou via ValueWalk
4. Blockchain will integrate with other emerging technologies.
“2018 will bring blockchain technology into the IoT equation, helping enterprises overcome data trust challenges that previously hindered adoption. Because blockchain offers a secure exchange of value between entities in a distributed network, a new class of IoT applications will arise. For instance, automakers may use blockchain to authenticate the interactions between connected vehicles and roadside infrastructure. Or, supply chains can trace and authenticate the source of goods with the technology’s tamper-proof transaction records.” – Maciej Kranz via RT Insights
“As well as recording machine activity on the ledger for record-keeping and analytical purposes, machines could effectively “pay” each other when smart machines operated by one organization interact and transact with those owned by others. This is likely to be further down the road, but it is likely we will see research and breakthroughs in this area in 2018.” – Bernard Marr via HuffPost
5. Blockchain will expand into new verticals.
“In the next few years, it is expected that the blockchain technology will be used in many areas of healthcare. In its study, ‘World forecasts of the healthcare industry 2018’, IDC Health Insights predicts that by next year 20% of organizations will be actively developing blockchain projects. By 2020 blockchain will be used in operational management, as well as for maintaining databases of patients.” – Carlo R.W. De Meijer via Finextra
“Blockchain and smart contracts will enable new enterprises to engage everyone in living more sustainably … I see companies enabling and rewarding individuals to manage their personal carbon footprint. And I see enterprises balancing excess carbon emissions throughout their supply chains to create carbon neutrality in the manufacturing of products and services.” – Don Tapscott via Quartz Media
“It is expected that blockchain implemented in the manufacturing and production industries will embody the second generation of the digital revolution. One of the biggest growth areas of blockchain in this segment in 2018 will be supply chain management, as it provides transparency to the supply chain – especially in the complex supply chain industries such as the automotive and retail industries. Blockchain can be used to minimize errors in logistics and to track deliveries and transactions in the supply chain with improved accuracy, security, and speed compared to previous solutions.” – Carlo R.W. De Meijer via Finextra
Do you have any blockchain predictions for 2018? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
Published on February 5, 2018