In fact, it looks set to usher in an exciting new dawn in online and digital activity, characterised by heightened trust, security, and efficiency – key requisites for growth in anyone’s language.
There’s been cloud, artificial intelligence, big data – and all have their huge merits that will continue to realise major benefits. Arguably though, blockchain – the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin – is the most likely to have the greatest impact in 2017 and way beyond as we start to look to a new decade of possibilities.
Essentially, it’s the first native digital medium for value, and that makes it hugely attractive for business.
Blockchain technology also holds the potential to take networked business models into new realms by supporting a whole host of new applications. Immediately springing to mind are native payment systems that run without banks’ involvement, reputation systems controlled purely by individuals, and trustless transactions where no previous relationship between the people involved is required for effective usage.
Similar to the Uber effect, blockchain allows the suppliers of services to cut out sharing economy companies and instead collaborate by forming cooperatives that allow all revenue to go exclusively to members.
Many new technologies have been touted as the next big thing – the disruptor to end all disruptors no less.
Importantly, it’s the ethos at the heart of blockchain that makes it so robust, adaptable, and ultimately, successful. It’s available to everyone, and through it, anything of value can be transferred, then stored securely and privately. It should come as no surprise then to note that the Bank of America and Bank of England have been among those looking very seriously at how to best harness those significant abilities.
Of course, for some time now, blockchain has been intrinsically linked to the financial services industry where it has served to reduce complexity while improving efficiency, transparency and regulation. Nevertheless, its benefits go way beyond that. Indeed, it’s becoming increasingly clear that blockchain has the power to transform much more – from business and government, to even wider society as we know it.
Under such a scenario, the likes of royalties and licensing agreements are delivered instantly and automatically with no intermediary required. Blockchain technology allows creators of intellectual property to realise its true value directly.
Yet, where blockchain can really come into its own is through the Internet of Things – as our global network of connections continues to grow, it will require a system to manage the accompanying huge number of transactions, and blockchains would provide an ideal format for doing so.
For one, blockchains have the ability to dramatically reduce transaction costs. Smart contracts on blockchains will vastly lower the costs of contracting, enforcing contracts, and making payments. Likewise, they hold the potential to eliminate agency and coordination costs, effectively taking out the middle man and making the relationship a direct one between buyer and seller.
This opinion article is penned by Steven Boyle, CEO at Integrated Cloud Solutions, a Glasgow, Scotland-based software solutions firm.
We are already seeing an impact in such areas as cloud-based learning and student authentification, counterfeit protection for digital assets and proof of ownership, not to mention electronic voting and voter authentification.
Image from Shutterstock.
The implications of what can be achieved beyond the financial services industry are simply immense. In 2017, blockchain will undoubtedly make huge strides in terms of relevance, uptake, and importantly fuelling the next generation of startups.
However, key to blockchain’s growth has been the fact that trust has been easily established by users. There are simply no intermediaries like banks, governments or tech giants; instead, mass collaboration, clever coding and integrity are what make it tick and indeed thrive.
Player at BitStarz Lands a $112.4k Win
An evening of intense playing turned fortunate for a player, as he bagged a whopping $112,400 win from his online bets. The crazy outcome took place at BitStarz, one of the leading online Bitcoin
OneCoin 'License' is a Fake, Says Vietnamese Government
The government of Vietnam is speaking out after promoters of OneCoin – a digital currency investment scheme widely believed to be a fraud – claimed it had been granted a formal license in the country.
Bitcoin speculators are the new day traders
To some market analysts, quiet, expensive stock markets are being overlooked by worrisome speculative activity in products such as bitcoin. The price of the digital currency has surged since the end
Visa, MasterCard, PayPal Under Pressure To Halt Extremist Funding
An action group pressuring payment entities to block funds destined for white supremacists has successfully lobbied PayPal and is going after Visa and MasterCard. SumOfUs, which describes itself
Electrum Bitcoin Wallet Simulates Chain Split on Bitcoin Testnet
Computer science in action, some might say. In the Bitcoin space, we hear a lot of talk about the “danger” of a chain split, and the unending mantra “more hashpower = more security.” Some analysts bel
A petition on Change.org is calling on Amazon to accept bitcoin 'ASAP'
Bitcoin has been soaring to new heights, and now folks on Change.org are calling on e-commerce juggernaut Amazon to accept the cryptocurrency as payment "ASAP."
Blockchain Raises $40 Million from Google Ventures, Virgin Group and Others
Blockchain â the cryptocurrency startup, known for its Bitcoin wallet and block explorer has announced yet another successful funding round. The company has raised a sum of $40 million in the
Nimiq, the World’s First Browser-Based Blockchain, Wants to Unleash the Full Potential of Blockchain Tech
Have you ever tried to tell someone about bitcoin and blockchain technology? If so, chances are the other person wasn’t really excited about it, found it confusing, or didn’t really understand what th