The world’s leading research and advisory company, Gartner, Inc. recently published a press release, 2019 Hype Cycle for blockchain. While addressing the future of blockchain, the press release shed light on aspects hindering the progress of blockchain.
Particularly, lack of infrastructure to support blockchain and unleash its real potential was put forward by the research vice-president at Gartner, David Furlonger. In this regard, his exact words were:
……the existing digital infrastructure of organizations and the lack of clear blockchain governance are limiting CIOs from getting full value with blockchain.
Although he didn’t seem to be satisfied with the governance and practices of organizations, Furlonger was quite optimistic for the future of blockchain. While unveiling responses of chief information officers (CIOs) recorded in a survey, Furlonger concluded that most of them weren’t sure about the impacts of blockchain on businesses. However, despite being uncertain, a majority of CIOs expected blockchain industry to turn around in upcoming years. Furlonger stated:
Even though they are still uncertain of the impact blockchain will have on their businesses, 60% of CIOs in the Gartner 2019 CIO Agenda Survey said that they expected some level of adoption of blockchain technologies in the next three years
The press release by Gartner, a member of the S&P 500, suggested that the business impact of blockchain is likely to change within next few years. Moreover, it was mentioned that blockchain will display a transformational and unpredictable potential in the next 5 to 10 years.
Apart from general views regarding the blockchain, the press release also articulated key industries served by blockchain. While the banking and investment services industries are at the top, gaming and retail industries are also enlisted as key industries for blockchain technology.
About 18% of CIOs belonging to banking sector interviewed in the survey have adopted or planned to adopt blockchain technology in the next 12 months. On the other hand, 15% desired to utilize blockchain in some way within two years.
Blockchain was introduced to the world about a decade ago. The technology is still considered to be in a nascent phase. However, its use cases are still debated by many pioneers of the space. To get a clear understanding of the potential of blockchain, BlockPublisher got in touch with Stan, the founding director of Hub Culture, and he stated;
“Blockchains, in general, are showing utility, which is why so many companies are exploring ideas and innovations using technology. At the end of the day, blockchains are a form of database and authentication system, so if they provide new ways of verifying information and truth, which they do, they will find use cases. The application of blockchain technologies has to pass more tests than authentication and transparency to be useful or deployed at scale. They need to be fast, secure, robust, and in some cases adaptable. As industry builds more solutions onto the core protocols, these aspects become easier to identify and incorporate, allowing real uses cases to move forward.”
Blockchain providing decentralized solutions has been criticized by many banks for several years. An example is JP Morgan, who at first bashed bitcoin and its underlying technology blockchain. But later, the banking giant made use of the very same technology to create its own cryptocurrency.
Now, after understanding the potential of blockchain, banks are readily adopting the technology. Recently, Deutsche Bank, considered as the largest bank of Germany, joined Interbank Information Network (IIN). JP Morgan launched its blockchain-based IIN in 2017, to minimize friction by offering a fast and easy way for cross-border payments. Besides the German bank, about 230 banks of the world have joined JP Morgan’s INN up till now.
Regarding the inclusion of blockchain in the gaming industry, research by Gartner tell that blockchain allowed users to create their own tokens. Consequently, with the tokens, gamers were bestowed control over in-game items.
The success of blockchain can be estimated by scrutinizing one of the most famous blockchain-based games, Cryptokitties. Maker of the game raised $15 million worth investments funds last year for their game that allowed users to purchase, collect, breed and sell virtual cats through tokens. Recently, the team successfully raised $11 million in funds for another blockchain-based project.
In addition to banking and gaming industries making use of blockchain, benefits of blockchain deployment in the retail industry were also described. Exhibiting ‘track and trace’ traits, blockchain is said to improve product quality and food safety. Besides, the applications of blockchain after its collaboration with the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) is also predicted to be revolutionary for retailers.
Retail giant, Walmart had been advocating the use of blockchain in the supply chain for a long time. Working with IBM to work out food safety solutions, Walmart planned to upload its data related to food on a blockchain. The retail giant had been quite bullish on making food details digital and transparent on a blockchain.
As blockchain has still a long way to go, let’s see if the predictions and analysis of Gartner turn out to be accurate in the future.