This article is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2017 in Review opinion series.
During the course of 2017, we saw big technology players making moves in blockchain.
In addition to Microsoft and IBM, Oracle announced in October a replacement cloud-based blockchain-as-a-service offering, while SAP opened early access to its own version of the offering in May. With these updates, et al. , it’s safe to mention that Fortune 500 companies are now pairing with providers to explore blockchain’s uses in their businesses
These are samples of the sort of adoption and validity we expected to ascertain in 2017, but even these positive developments can still be considered scratching the surface.
Government bodies also are collaborating on the various potential benefits of blockchain, and bold entrepreneurs are brooding about how the tech are often used because the basis for brand spanking new smartphones and apps.
Even the recent frenzied nature of bitcoin – which has stunned the investment community and has caused both scorn and praise – can’t disrupt the continued progress of blockchain. While we follow bitcoin’s journey, let’s look ahead at what we will expect to ascertain unfolding in 2018:
1. Asia and therefore the Middle East will aggressively push blockchain
Interest in blockchain continues to be very high in Asia and therefore the Middle East , where a number of the most important banking institutions are forging ahead with blockchain projects or service offerings, particularly in payments.
For example, banks in Japan and South Korea have just begun testing a blockchain technology that would achieve same-day international transfers and cut costs by nearly 30 percent.
2. Cybersecurity will amplify blockchain adoption
With the increase of ransomware attacks demanding cryptocurrencies, blockchain and IoT cybersecurity will emerge with defenses supported cryptocurrency technologies.
While this might sound fantastical and futuristic, the emergence of blockchain cybersecurity tools could also be subsequent big thing in blockchain. With major breaches like Equifax proving that companies generally cannot safeguard current identity data systems, the necessity for a safer blockchain-based identity approach, during which nobody holds all the keys, will emerge.
3. ICOs will begin
There was a seismic jump in ICOs in 2017, and therefore the ecosystem of cryptocurrencies has expanded during a huge way. within the next year, the pace of ICOs will grow significantly faster, and can overtake risk capital funding.
4. Finance and insurance will go beat
The insurance and finance sectors are two of the foremost likely to experience deep, and threatening, disruption from blockchain technology.
Insurance will emerge as a hot area as claims processing and sophisticated multi-party processes like subrogation will show the business value of blockchain-based automation. And, JPMorgan will open a cryptocurrency trading desk, despite Jamie Dimon’s viral comments dismissing the validity of cryptocurrencies.
5. Automation, privatization are coming
Blockchain will drive digital transformation of the enterprise specifically with automation, digitization of processes, tokenization of physical assets and activities and codification of complex contracts.
In addition, governance issues will still plague bitcoin (Segwit2x), ethereum (frozen Parity funds) et al. as new challenges emerge. this may drive enterprises to “private” blockchains but won’t hamper the expansion of core cryptocurrencies.