5 Popular Distributed Ledger and Blockchain Trends in 2021
While the media frenzy surrounding blockchain, bitcoins, and distributed ledgers has subsided, corporations have continued to invest in the study, development, and deployment of these technologies in 2019. This year will almost definitely be no different, with Gartner researchers naming blockchain as one of the top ten technology trends for the year ahead.
Don’t be fooled into believing that blockchain and distributed ledger technology are old news. In truth, it is still in its infancy, with only a tiny number of businesses having reached a sufficient degree of maturity in their digital operations to exploit it successfully. The future of blockchain is inextricably linked to other emerging and embryonic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Some of the issues in 2020 predictions are –
Financial Services is the First One to Adopt
Technology’s no surprise that banking was the first sector of industry to take an interest in blockchain, which has been buzzing with innovation and discoveries ever since it first appeared on the global stage in the form of digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Blockchain can be used to create fraud-resistant clearing and settlement systems, smart contracts (digital contracts that execute themselves when criteria are met), and considerably speed up digital transactions.
According to IBM, which claims to have assisted in developing more successful blockchain initiatives than any other firm, financial services businesses will increase their investment in blockchain technology throughout 2020, but it won’t stop there. According to Gartner, banks will have derived more than $1 billion in value from the deployment of blockchain-based technology by 2020.
But it isn’t going to end there. Blockchain technology has unquestionable benefits for any sector that requires secure transaction records and activity that can be tracked. Tracking the provenance of agricultural products and livestock as they go “from farm to fork” is one of the current initiatives, assuring the provenance of diamonds and other valuable stones.
Facebook also Launched Its Digital Currency
Facebook is planning to launch its cryptocurrency early in 2020, and while many specifics are still being kept under wraps, it’s already creating a lot of interest – and some alarm. There have been many cryptocurrencies in the past — well over 1,000 have been produced since Bitcoin was introduced in 2009, with the vast majority disappearing without a trace. However, none have been launched with the support of a company on the scale of Facebook, a factor that could imply that the consequences of this coin are far greater than anything we’ve seen so far.
It’s been a bumpy path; late this year, both Mastercard and Visa stated that they were pulling their assistance owing to regulatory uncertainty. This would be enough to put most commercial endeavors out of business, but Facebook (a firm worth $550 billion, more than any credit card behemoths) is forging ahead.
While technically a cryptocurrency (a form of payment that uses computer encryption to ensure the network’s integrity), Facebook’s Libra differs from Bitcoin and the bulk of other digital currencies in how it functions. Its blockchain network will be centralized – under the control of the organization in charge of administering it – rather than dispersed, “trustless,” as the bitcoin pioneers advocated. But, it might be the first virtual currency to deliver on its promise of upending the present global monetary system if it takes off.
Blockchain and AI Integration are Picking Speed
One of the issues with integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into people’s lives is that AI can be incredibly complex and difficult to grasp due to the large amount of data that drives its judgments. Due to its capacity to make decision-making traceable and ensuring that judgments are based on verified and verifiable information, many individuals believe that blockchain could be an antidote to this.
The advantages are mutual: not only can blockchain make AI more useful, but AI can also be used to make blockchains more safe and blockchain-based solutions more user-friendly. Companies can create more accurate predictions, reduce waste created by manufacturing processes, streamline supply chains, and match their products to new markets more quickly by combining these revolutionary technologies. With the benefit of this technical alliance becoming increasingly evident, it’s quite likely that we’ll see more of this type of innovation in 2020, including the first cloud service providers’ combined blockchain and AI platforms.
Blockchain technology securing the Internet of Things
The more linked gadgets we use in our personal and professional lives to share and process data, the more opportunities there are for attackers to steal that data – or for it to simply be lost or misplaced. As the industry advances closer to digital transformation and more work involves machine-to-machine contact, it’s becoming more critical than ever to store and preserve data in a secure, tamper-proof manner.
Of course, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies give a solution that is as close to flawless as it is now achievable. Every information exchange is permanently documented in a transparent way to all parties – an important factor when businesses rely on a variety of suppliers for machines, tools, and software. This implies that it’s rather easy to figure out how a communication breakdown, or even a breach by a malevolent third party, resulted in a problem when things go wrong. According to Gartner’s research, the majority (75%) of firms that have adopted IoT technology have already implemented blockchain or aim to do so by 2020.
Other jurisdictions follow Wyoming’s lead
This year, Wyoming became the first state in the United States to pass legislation to foster blockchain innovation while also providing the necessary regulatory supervision to avoid possible pitfalls. When the first cryptocurrencies appeared, allowing for the first time anonymous, digital transfers of wealth between anybody globally, regulators and central banks were eager to point out their obvious potential for money laundering and other criminal financial behavior.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has routinely rejected petitions to construct publicly-traded cryptocurrency-based financial instruments, owing to these concerns. This is unaffected by Wyoming legislators’ actions. The decision to pass 13 laws to create a legal framework for blockchain and digital currencies, on the other hand, indicates that, at least in certain places, there is a view that policy should promote rather than stifle technological progress. We may anticipate lawmakers from other states and countries to keep a close eye on Wyoming in 2020 and perhaps even follow in its footsteps