Blockchain (distributed ledger) is a revolutionary technology that has been gaining momentum over recent years. Its many advantages include security and high transaction speed, transparency, fault-tolerant data storage, and universality that allows implementing blockchain in the most diverse industries. The growth and evolution of distributed ledger technology should not be equated to the crypto boom, since it has many other applications apart from exchanging cryptocurrency.
Recognizing its potential benefits, many businesses consider introducing blockchain into their workflow. You can start with a small demo feature or implement a full-fledged system underpinned by advanced tech solutions. In any case, you will be dealing with something new and unfamiliar, investing your money and time in something of a dark horse, and hoping your daring project works out.
To make a wise investment, you should be aware of the most promising trends, and have a clear idea of achievable goals and the challenges you may encounter. Our list of the top blockchain predictions of 2019 should prepare a fertile terrain for growing your innovative projects.
1. Token-Based Games
Trophies won in some games will no longer be artificial. Users will be able to convert them into real-life assets. Those who insist that cybersport is just for fun and not for earning money will have to change their tune.
If you win some trophy, its appropriation will be recorded to the system as a non-fungible token (NFT). You can sell it for cryptocurrency and dispose of your money as you wish. In this way, blockchain brings virtual objects into the real world.
2. Mobile Crypto Wallets
Since modern people spend day and night with their mobile phones in hand, all progressive technologies are mobile-optimized. Crypto wallets for smartphones promise to become extremely popular in the near future. They can be used to pay for goods and services in malls, entertainment venues, healthcare centers and more, in the same ways we use our debit cards now. This twist will bring us closer to universal blockchain adoption and weave it into our daily routines.
3. Blockchain and IoT
Internet of Things (IoT) technology enable smart digital and mechanical devices to capture and exchange data about the environments, people and objects they interact with. Since no human intervention is necessary, processes underpinned by IoT flow automatically, bringing many everyday processes to the next level, and making them less tedious and time-consuming.
Blockchain enables fast and secure data exchange between smart devices, making it possible to satisfy users’ needs instantaneously and preventing failures. We can expect more exciting projects that bring IoT and blockchain together in the future.
4. App Decentralization
The decentralization pattern underpinning blockchain technology can be applied not only to the ledger itself but also to apps using it. Decentralized apps eliminate a single vulnerable point of control, ensure greater security of records and give more confidence to network participants.
Instead of using a centralized app storing all the data of a certain business group, each company belonging to the group can launch their own app, exchange information with other companies, and keep copies of sensitive data in personal storage. In case of a hacker attack or a failure of the centralized app, parts of the data not recorded to the ledger will not be lost.
Of course, it may be costly for organizations to build their own apps. But the immense benefits will be worth it.
5. Applications at the Governmental Level
Throughout recent years, blockchain has attracted the lively attention of giant companies like Apple, Amazon, and Walmart. Governments of various countries have also started to show interest in this technology. It can ensure the security of expensive transactions and important documents by providing access only to authorized individuals, help combat corruption, prevent data leakage and upgrade tedious bureaucratic red tape.
6. Non-Fungible Tokens
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are virtual representations of real objects. You can buy an NFT of a certain object for cryptocurrency and receive a proprietary right to this object, in much the same way as you buy real goods at brick-and-mortar stores for dollars or other fiat money.
It is impossible to copy an NFT and obtain a certain object without paying the proprietor. Secure blockchain technology prevents forgery and creates ideal conditions for fair trade. Since distributed ledger constantly evolves and acquires new levels of reliability, more people will translate their physical assets into tokens and conduct large sales transactions in a digital environment.
7. Legal Support for Smart Contracts
A smart contract is a record on a blockchain prescribing certain conditions and events that will take place once certain conditions are met. For example, a customer’s money can be sent to a seller’s account once goods are delivered. A smart contract belongs neither to the customer nor to the seller. It controls the actions of both, to ensure the two sides stick to the terms they have agreed on.
Since a smart contract is just a piece of code, it cannot adjust to rapidly changing circumstances. Once launched, it performs its original program and executes operations driven by specific actions. If a dispute arises in the process of contract execution and either of the parties refuses to perform their obligations, legal officers will intervene and referee. If the terms are unmet but no dispute is launched, commercial deals protected by smart contracts will simply stop and remain uncompleted.
Blockchain is a promising technology that can revolutionize almost every area of human life. However, it will not happen overnight. Time, effort and resources are needed for research and development of useful blockchain applications. No doubt blockchain technology is a wise investment. As a result, people will greatly simplify their everyday routines, conduct secure business transactions, and enjoy faster information exchange.
Stay tuned to blockchain news to find out about new exciting implementations in 2019!