While we have reviewed what blockchain is in our previous blogs and even discussed some of the competitive cryptocurrencies of late, much has changed in the last two years. So, what are the latest views of what blockchain will hold for the future of tech? That’s what we cover in this piece.
Blockchain's use and possibilities have increased in the last few years and have spread globally. Businesses can no longer ignore or brush aside the utility of blockchain technology, whether that's improving security, streamlining workflow or scalability.
Big Tech will incorporate more blockchain technology, from communication to alternative payment methods. Major international companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Paypal, and Amazon already use cryptocurrencies to varying degrees.
Coupling the cryptocurrencies (such as Ethereum and Bitcoin) with aspects of incorporating how transparent and secure blockchain technology is, it's only a matter of time before more businesses adopt blockchain to greater degrees. Various countries, Australia being one of them, plan to incorporate blockchain on a national level into government infrastructure, and the UK is even looking to use it for welfare distribution.
Green Tech IS the Future
There is a significant movement to reduce our carbon footprint in nearly all tech areas, and blockchain is no exception. Historically, blockchain technology/mining farms have needed massive amounts of energy and space to be fully operational, which harmed the technology's environmental impact.
Carbon offsetting is now being applied to cryptocurrencies enabling them to become climate-neutral, meaning a smaller carbon footprint needed to mine cryptocurrency. In addition to this, using Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithms can help reduce the energy required, contributing to a more environmentally-friendly future for blockchain and increasing its use.
Supply Chain Improvements
Supply chain issues have been one of the significant pain points globally in the last two years. With trade issues, economic sanctions between countries and resource shortages throughout different markets, supply chain woes are increasing. However, many businesses are starting to see how implementing blockchain tech can ease these issues.
The US giant Walmart has recently implemented blockchain tech to reduce its time to trace a package of sliced mangoes from more than six days to 2.2 seconds. Major service companies are also looking at blockchain to ensure the accurate shipping and tracking of various goods. With proof of stake algorithms improving the overall technology, more and more businesses will use blockchain to offset their supply chain pain points.
Smart Contracts for a Smart Future
Smart contracts are a recent innovative use of blockchain tech. These programs can oversee all the various tasks of an agreement from start to finish once pre-determined conditions are met, without the input of an intermediary, and with no loss of time.
Using a smart contract would reduce operating times in practically any sector that uses contracts or engages with contract law. Smart contracts also reduce costs for businesses, so it becomes a no-brainer for those who deem it a necessary spend for their team.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are a new way of buying and selling digital assets such as digital goods, artwork or representations of real-world items. While many people have heard the buzzword in the news or on social media, NFTs are still not fully understood by the wider audience. NFTs create a unique way of being the individual owner of an item and having the proof to back it up.
Many will say having a non-fungible token of digital art doesn't mean much when you can screenshot it and own it for yourself, those same people will not have proof of ownership of the original, and this is where the value of NFTs comes in. It has opened the door for collectors of all kinds to want to invest.
Principal musicians and various artists are already putting up their craft as NFTs, and even the gaming industry has taken to the market. There is plenty of money to be made here as one of the most expensive NFTs - Pak's piece 'The Merge' was bought by 28,983 collectors for a total of $91.8m. The future of NFTs doesn't seem to be slowing down as more clothing companies and creatives are looking to use NFTs to create original pieces for customers.
Advancements in Identity Management and Security.
While the security benefits of blockchain are clear when used for transactional purposes such as cryptocurrencies, there hasn't been a significant focus on using these benefits in the broader aspects of business and government. Blockchain provides an incredible amount of security thanks to its ability to independently verify individual transactions between users.
In the case of cryptocurrencies, you can track any transactions throughout history, making it very difficult for someone to steal or alter data. However, people have turned to the blockchain as an excellent example of ensuring that things like voter integrity, real estate purchases, and more have been enforced in recent years. While we still haven't had a fully blockchain-integrated voting ballot, the future seems to be heading that way. Blockchain may be the most significant piece of the puzzle that solves this with talks of voter fraud and stolen elections.
Innovation Lays in the Blockchain Network
Whether creating NFTs or shipping mangos worldwide at lower costs, blockchain is not slowing down; it's ramping up. In ten years, it's a technology that will likely be a staple in any business, to varying degrees. Whether it's innovations in the Ethereum blockchain or improvements in record-keeping, nothing seems to be halting the progress of blockchain tech.
The benefits of this technology are too positive and necessary to ignore, and in a world that finds itself with increasingly more immediate problems, it will need intelligent solutions. Blockchain may be the most innovative one of all.