2021 Blockchain Trends

Across the globe, more and more day-to-day activities are taking place online, further accelerating the digitalisation of all sectors. In this context, fostering and maintaining trust between multiple parties becomes increasingly valuable and this is where Blockchain is being used and considered. 

Blockchain is a significant and rapidly growing technology trend and 2021 is expected to see a continued adoption of the technology throughout many industries and sectors.

Blockchain, with its tamper-proof and distributed nature, is a key to strengthening trust in this increasingly digital environment. This trend is demonstrated by the growing global investment in blockchain solutions, which is forecast by Gartner to to reach US$15.9 billion in 2023, ten times more than the $1.5 billion invested in 2018. They expect to see increased deployment of blockchain to strengthen public goods and services in areas such as education, copyright protection, healthcare and food safety, among others. 

Blockchain arose at the end of the previous decade as a highly anticipated technological upstart whose applicability, which is not just limited to crypto currencies, had far-reaching consequences for every organisation struggling to manage their data, both internally and externally between parties.

It offered indisputable traceability, distributed collaboration capabilities, and rapid updates to support the low latent data powering a sundry of use cases, from the Internet of Things to cognitive computing. Nonetheless, as its crypto currency foundation became mired in issues of scalability, latency, and data privacy, its once bright future became occluded by doubt and, perhaps, irrelevance.

Blockchain can be defined as a database, a storage infrastructure for data, that’s secured by both encryption and by being decentralised.

With many copies spread across many locations, all kept up-to-date simultaneously, changes can only be made to the data when there is consensus that it is correct to do so. This is a relatively new way of managing and securing data on a shared database that can be accessed and used by different people or organisations.  Blockchain is valuable for any sort of transaction where values and time-stamps need to be securely recorded, so it is of particular interest to financial service companies. But it is also useful tracking the movement of data between different groups of users and we are likely to see blockchain being used to track Covid vaccines from the point of manufacture to the patient.

At every step of the journey, Blockchain can be used to create a permanent and non-falsifiable record of where each batch was at any given time. 

Two British hospitals are using blockchain technology to track the storage and supply of temperature-sensitive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, the companies behind the initiative have said, in one of the first such initiatives in the world.

The 'As-A-Service' model of distribution has been key to the rapid adoption of technology trends, including cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence. Blockchain is likely to be next, with companies including Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft all offering or developing tools and platforms enabling businesses to leverage the technology without making up-front investments in infrastructure and skills.

Although  blockchain technology is still in the early stages of development and will likely encounter some difficulties in terms of how it is applied and deployed at scale, it will continue powering businesses by virtues of the ability store and secure confidential data at scale in expanding businesses. 

Offering the advantages of faster transactions, transparency, the absence of intermediaries, along with the accurate tracing of fraudulent activities, blockchain will become a dominant technology across many industries.

Gartner:    Reuters:     Medium:     Inside Big Data:   CB America:      BangkokPost:     Forbes:     Image: Unsplash

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