New technologies always bring about uncertainty and chaos but also hype and opportunity. If 2017 was the year of ICO hype and 2018 was the year of the ICO bubble bursting, what can we expect from 2019?
I believe, 2019 can and will be the most exciting year of developments for blockchain technology. Two years on from the initial boom, we can see an increased understanding of cryptocurrencies and greater market maturity.
The availability of new coins in the market has increased as well as the number of starts up that have entered this space.
In its latest report, blockchain research group Diar reports that blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused startups have raised nearly $3.9 billion through VC investments in the first three quarters of the year (2018) – that’s up 280 per cent when compared to the whole of 2017,
So even though 2018 saw more challenges with crypto prices crashing and many Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) not delivering the products they had promised, 2019 can be the year where we see stronger companies and cryptocurrencies flouring.
As in the dot.com boom, only the strong can withstand challenges and the changing economic and regulatory landscape when the tide comes in.
Two years on from the bitcoin boom, we can see an increased awareness of blockchain technology in the mainstream markets.
Almost everyone has heard of a bitcoin (even if they don’t still quite know what it’s all about!). More investment is being poured into blockchain startups and we are also seeing more startups flourishing in the blockchain space.
The benefits of blockchain technology have now moved beyond the original payments domain and ideas and use cases are starting to flourish in many industries outside of finance such as healthcare, artificial intelligence, supply chains, e-commerce and commodities.
So what do we have in store for 2019? Here are my 5 predictions:
- The calm after the storm: There remains a lot of noise and hype in the sector but it will calm down. We will see more concise propositions coming to market and the scams unable to sustain themselves will fall by the wayside as those companies who failed to deliver on their ICO promises will fade away and lose credibility in the market. This, in turn, will create space for real propositions and companies with real business models to surface as they will focus on delivering real use cases.
- The rise of the decentralised consortiums: We will see more consortium types of models within industries emerging. They will come together to create solutions to the common problems they face. However, blockchain is not a single standalone solution. We will see it being combined with other technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). The blockchain is just one piece of the model.
- Standardisation of technology: We may see standardisation of technology occurring which will also see some frameworks and widely adopted norms coming to fruition (similar to what IBM is doing with HyperLedger). Businesses will come together, have greater knowledge sharing to see how they can share what they have built as inter-operability will become more important.
- More education and mainstream awareness: There is an increasing number of educational institutions now offering more education and courses on blockchain technology. A quick look at Eventbrite or meet.com shows no shortage of blockchain and crypto related meetings. It’s clear to see there is an increasing appetite for wanting to know more about this technology and we will see more people better able to access this information with a greater curiosity to learning more. This in turn will lead to better products coming to market. Investors will also be warier and only investing in ICOs or STOs that have proven there is a viable business model and/or MVP (minimal viable product).
- Supply chains as a credible use case: The last few years have demonstrated the power of blockchain in the payments world. Bitcoin is 10 years old and in a short decade it’s not been hacked, still continues to work and is flourishing. 2019 will see the year where the next viable use case will emerge in the supply chain industry. Every business has a supply chain and these can be costly to operate and maintain. We will see more crystallised use cases in this area.
What are your predictions for 2019? Leave your comments below.
Written by Sukhi Jutla
An IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer, she made global headlines in April 2018 when she became the World’s First #1 Bestselling ‘Blockchain’ Author. She has authored two more books and is the co-founder of MarketOrders, the online B2B marketplace for gold jewellery and diamonds.
As a female tech ambassador, Sukhi is a regular keynote speaker and passionate about supporting female entrepreneurship. She is an IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer and her efforts have been recognized by a number of industry awards including the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, We Are The City Rising Stars Award, Management Today’s “35 Women under 35”; and listed as one of the Top 100 Asians in UK Tech.
In April 2018 Sukhi made global headlines when she became the World’s First #1 Bestselling ‘Blockchain’ Author. Named as one of the 50 most influential people in Blockchain.