We know that blockchain is the innovative technology that powers cryptocurrencies and applications. It's an exciting groundbreaking technology with worldwide spending on blockchain solutions projected to reach 19 billion dollars (about $58 per person in the US) by 2024, up from 950 million in 2017(1). Blockchain technology is a reliable way to store information in a database without relying on central entities and institutions, like regulators and accounting firms. Furthermore, blockchain supplies a straightforward way for parties to trust one another.
Here are some exciting blockchain trends that can impact our lives and help shape integration trends, shape future architectures and research directions:
New possibilities for decentralized trust in social networks exist thanks to blockchain tech. The technology works alongside social media and solves social media challenges like user identity, verified vendors and marketplace verification.
Blockchain in the worldwide supply chain market is expected to increase exponentially and rapidly. It will improve business for stakeholders with enhanced traceability, enabling digitization. International supply chain management success centers on controlling four flows: product, process, information, and cash.
Blockchain solves supply chain challenges with event tracking, cargo integrity assurance, dispute resolution, compliance, digitalization, trust enablement and securing the chain of custody. An irreversible, comprehensive audit trail with blockchain increases product authenticity and quality confidence.
We will likely see efforts to "green" blockchain since it uses significant computing power and creates elevated levels of carbon emissions. A shift to lower energy-intensive blockchain technology models and renewable energy will enable the blockchain industry to be green. Tax incentives and legal regulations play an integral role in creating renewable energy alternatives.
Awareness of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) rose dramatically over the last couple of years, most notably due to NFTs in digital content transactions. These transactions include artwork that often sells for exorbitant amounts. NFTs were big news in the blockchain world in 2021 when music artists like Kings of Leon released music in NFT format.
NFTs are created for many types of content, like digital art, physical art connected to the digital token, videos, and memes. Open marketplaces enable NFT trading associated with any object or kind of work. Yet, NFT's rapid growth magnifies copyright enforcement challenges.
This year we will see central banks create their own coins so users can conduct transactions and manage custody while keeping control of the circulating supply. National cryptocurrencies will see growth in 2022 that will work alongside traditional currencies.
The UK plans to release a government backed Britcoin in the next couple of years(6). Additionally, more nations plan to do so, such as Japan, Russia, Sweden, and Estonia. At the same time, countries like Singapore, China, Tunisia, and Ecuador already have their own national cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain goes beyond cryptocurrency in several ways:
Blockchain technology is trustworthy because the data it holds is unchangeable; no person nor company should be able to change or alter transaction history
Looped in with immutability and trust, blockchain's decentralized ledger technology supplies a secure peer-to-peer mechanism for authenticating information.
Developing countries are learning a widening array of blockchain applications, including innovative uses in banking and financial services, supply chains, agriculture and land titling in countries like India, Kenya, and other East African nations.
In eastern Africa, for example, blockchain's application in lending benefits small businesses that don't have a solid record of business ownership and operations or conventional credit histories. In 2018, vendors in a Nairobi, Kenya microfinance project helped build credit as they repaid micro-loans, then became eligible for larger ones(2).
Pharmaceutical applications help society, too, by watching the storage temperature of medicines and ensuring prompt delivery. In pharmaceutical applications, sensors ensure storage temperatures of delivery trucks and deliveries are paid for if the drugs are delivered on time if the supply chain is logged in the blockchain(2).
Blockchain's business benefits include payments and trust, just like they benefit society. Consider the following use cases and benefits of blockchain:
The IoT industry grows exponentially with billions of connected devices. Some estimates claim there will be 50 billion devices in use globally by 2030(5). As numbers grow, so do vulnerabilities, as hackers can easily breach data through a single connected device. Integrating blockchain technology into IoT devices reduces the possibility of data breaches.
One of the examples of next-level cybersecurity is smartphone platforms. Using a highly secure FIDO token is the secret behind correct passwordless authentication; decentralized credential solutions and biometric authentication make IoT devices almost tamper-proof.
Blockchain creates a sea change for marketers by transforming customer targeting, tracking customer data, and securing consumer information.
Blockchain-based cybersecurity platforms for energy, transportation, manufacturing, etc., have billions of connected devices. Blockchain extends zero trust identity, data security and local/remote access for physical and digital operations in OT, IT and the cloud.
Blockchain technology applies to cryptographic keys to ensure users' security, confidentiality, privacy and shared data. There are two types of keys, public and private, and each user has one of each.
The public key is the address or its hashed (shortened) version. A user can only access their wallet – a public key – and move cryptocurrency with a private key. The public and the private key combination creates that individual's digital signature, thus allowing them to perform transactions on a blockchain. The digital signature distinguishes a user in the network and adds an added layer of security to protect the data.
Smart contracts are blockchain-based contracts in real-time. These contracts are agreements between two or more parties without an intermediary; the contract exists across a decentralized and distributed blockchain network. Smart contracts are now basic in healthcare, real estate and government agencies.
Big Data-based smart contracts ease the transfer of sensitive medical data between patients and doctors. The contracts specify outlines and parameters for data sharing; they hold personalized health plans and other valuable information for individual patients.
Real estate platforms can use blockchain-based title registries that automate transactions for brokers, realtors and their clients. Blockchain technology makes title issuance instantaneous and allows buying and selling properties with cryptocurrency.
Online retailers often face several challenges in the payment process involved with ecommerce. For example, there's the "abandoned cart" issue and consumer distrust over data security (consider all the data breaches in the news). Blockchain technology may be the innovation online retailers need.
Payment processing and money transfers are the best blockchain technology use cases; blockchain tech enables high-speed, real-time transactions. The BFSI sector is eternally transformed since it saves time and lowers costs by cutting bank/financial institution transaction fees.
Fintech platforms, such as those that help people internet businesses, may offer several cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, Bitcoin, Monero, etc.) to process billions in cryptocurrency investments and exchanges.
Some platforms deliver blockchain data and analysis to entities like financial institutions and exchanges
Biotechnology firm Open Therapeutics™ is dedicated to global, open-source pharmaceutical research by crowdsourcing scientists. According to its LinkedIn page, it's "an agnostic web portal service aimed at reducing the cost and risks of developing and deploying therapeutics" to enhance the availability of affordable lifesaving medications to underserved populations.
Medical device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical costs are out of range for many people, especially in developing countries with underserved populations. Open Therapeutics' offers an interdisciplinary open approach parallel to the profit-driven model, not a replacement. The multidisciplinary approach brings the public, students, scientists, clinicians and citizen scientists together to positively affect research.
To promote its mission of helping therapeutic (pharma, medical devices, and diagnostics) developments, Open Therapeutics™ needed a robust open platform for STEM researchers globally to collaborate on research. Scientists would be awarded ScienceCoins (a cryptocurrency) as a reward based on activities on the Therapoid platform.
For this project, the following aspects of scope needed to be considered:
The project included building the platform, using a public blockchain, the underlying architecture to award cryptocurrency and the APIs to integrate ScienceCoins into Therapoid.
Therapoid is an "open science platform that gives students and researchers free tools, intellectual properties, services, and awards ScienceCoins tokens (similar to cryptocurrency)" 3 for research and development that advances scientific knowledge.
It's important to note that Therapoid is not limited to the research community. In fact, for-profit businesses are welcome to join Therapoid too.
Therapoid delivers value to Open Therapeutics™ with:
To help create positive health and environmental outcomes worldwide, Therapoid's collaborative environment lowers research and development costs (R & D) and reduces risks. COVID-19 treatments and vaccines are excellent examples of open science.
The Therapoid platform enables researchers to receive governmental, business, institutional, nonprofit and public recognitions; this recognition leads to speaking engagements, employment, consulting and promotion opportunities.
Therapoid freely offers:
ScienceCoins (like cryptocurrency) are especially helpful to economically challenged students and researchers who collaborate. ScienceCoins convert to cryptocurrency exchanges to buy books, pay for open access charges (APC), journal subscriptions, supplies and pay a colleague to translate papers.
Blockchain's benefits are removing the human factor in transaction processing, recording and management. In ending human involvement and relying on the computing power of millions of networks, blockchain's information accuracy continues to improve.
Once the blocks in a chain are confirmed and linked, the information contained within is immutable; this permanence of the data prevents fraud; trust is no longer fleeting nor variable. Blockchain's nature as a ledger keeps permanent, immutable and verifiable transactions, thereby making the trust of other parties redundant.
V2Soft's blockchain services help build the foundation for secure, trustworthy, scalable and decentralized next-generation applications. Our experience creating Ethereum and Hyperledger-based smart contracts ensures process integrity every time since each contract fits within existing systems. This blockchain technology meets future demands with implementation, third-party integration and custom coding.
Our suite of services include:
V2Soft's blockchain consulting can help you find answers to blockchain questions, like:
Reach out to V2Soft and chat with an expert to learn how blockchain will benefit your business.
Sources & Footnotes:
1. Global spending on blockchain solutions forecast to be nearly $19 billion in 2024, according to new IDC spending guide. IDC. (2021, April 19). Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS47617821
2. AfricaGlobal FocusIndiaNorth America. (2018, November 28). How the blockchain brings social benefits to emerging economies. Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/blockchain-brings-social-benefits-emerging-economies/
3. Open Therapeutics. (2022). A revolutionary open science platform! Therapoid. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://therapoid.net/
4. Gas fees measure exactly how much computational power any given transaction requires before it can be recorded on a blockchain network
5. Vailshery, L. S. (2021, January 22). Number of connected devices worldwide 2030. Statista. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/802690/worldwide-connected-devices-by-access-technology/
6. PAN PYLAS, A. P. (2021, April 19). 'britcoin' digital currency being considered by UK. KSNT 27 News. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://www.ksnt.com/news/international/britcoin-digital-currency-being-considered-by-uk/