2017 was a booming year for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, while 2018 is going to be the first step to what will be the blockchain’s disruption of the technology world and not only in a value exchange aspect of it. A lot of projects built on blockchain are going to release their product and develop new features for blockchains in 2018 and we will see a lot of different applications for it.
So, let’s talk about some of the industries that might be the target of blockchain disruption.
The finance sector will go all in on blockchain because it is everything the finance sector always wanted: a fair and public way to store and transfer money. There are great indications that especially Asia and Middle East will aggressively pursue blockchain. There are plenty of financial institutions in those areas who want to implement blockchain to their use. For example, banks in Japan and South Korea have just begun testing blockchain technology which could achieve same-day international transfers and cut costs by nearly 30 percent. By the way, we cannot forget United States where the major financial institutions are based. Some of the leaders in the US have already patented ideas. Among the leaders are the giant financial institutions like Bank of America (which takes the top spot with 43 patents), payments leader Mastercard (joint second with 27) and Fidelity (which boasts 14 grants). One of the major issues are the transactions per second. At the moment, Ethereum can handle only 13 TPS. In comparison, Facebook can deal with 175k requests per second, or VISA from 4k up to 45k TPS. This is why Ethereum and other blockchains are trying to solve this scalability and create a way to handle hundreds of thousands of TPS. For example, Ripple does 1500 TPS.
Below is the distribution of the patents in the US.
A decentralized approach to IoT networking would solve many problems of centralized models. Adopting a standardized peer-to-peer communication model to process the hundreds of billions of transactions between devices will significantly reduce the costs associated with installing and maintaining large centralized data centers and will distribute computation and storage needs across the billions of devices which form IoT networks. This will prevent failure in any single node in a network from bringing the entire network to a halting collapse. However, establishing peer-to-peer communications will present its own set of challenges, chief among them the issue of security. And as we all know, IoT security is much more than just about protecting sensitive data. The proposed solution will have to maintain privacy and security in huge IoT networks and offer some form of validation and consensus for transactions to prevent spoofing and theft.
To perform the functions of traditional IoT solutions without a centralized control, any decentralized approach must support three fundamental functions:
– Peer-to-Peer messaging
– Distributed file sharing
– Autonomous device coordination
Even industries you might not expect can benefit in major ways from the existence of blockchain technology. The music industry currently faces a problem that can be debilitating to artists that don’t necessarily have support from within the industry. For example, while major artists continue to make large amounts of money, artists who are not as popular can earn almost nothing. Even if you’re an artist who has music constantly streamed on services like Spotify, your earnings can grossly misrepresent your popularity and you may earn much less than you deserve. Similarly, artists commonly do not earn money for their music because it is distributed by unofficial third parties. Blockchain technology can be used here to create a global system that prevents profit theft as information about the artist, the publisher of the song, and its engagement with audiences can be recorded in a way that can be verified and is not subject to fraud.
This is a huge industry where blockchain and especially smart contracts can help. Here is a big data of customers, so it needs better management of it. The main issue where blockchain can help in insurance industry is claiming process. A lot of fraud is in this industry because people want to make money from insured accidents. Smart contracts could lead to easier, faster and more transparent result.
An estimated 5 to 10 percent of all claims are fraudulent which, according to the FBI, costs U.S. on-health insurers more than $40 billion per year.
So, smart contracts can help detect fraudulent activity because in this industry many different companies have to communicate in order to investigate the incident and sharing data is a major problem.
Blockchain will bring AI marketplace, this is what is being created by Ben Goertzel with SingularityNET. Right now AI with machine-to-machine learning is very limited due to lack of share options for even faster and higher quality learning. Selling the AI code, etc. Adding smart contracts to AI can help reduce catastrophic risks scenario: an AI coded in a DAO (Decentralized autonomous organization) with specific smart contracts will be able to only perform those actions, and nothing more (it will have a limited action space then). Increase of artificial trust between bots can lead to a better efficiency for better machine-to-machine interaction.
The process of transferring patient data and the usage of electronic health records have always been somewhat of a contested system. Systems used to record patient’s medical information have often been criticized for consuming a large amount of valuable time that is taken away from medical practitioners who could better spend the time treating patients. There are also security risks that make it difficult for hospitals to share information, and doctors are often unable to access your medical records unless without them manually being sent to their office. The beauty of blockchain is that information is stored in ‘blocks’ that are verified against each other. This means that attempting to commit fraud or obtain illegal access would require being verified by each block in the chain, and that is a task that is nearly impossible for hackers. Instead of the current system, patient information could automatically be synced across a global information network through blockchain, and easily provided to carers with access.
For every initial human to human interaction, especially remotely and in commerce, there is a huge problem. This problem existed since the beginning of time and stretches out to 2018, where we still have a lot of fraudulent activities, scam artists and other problems of trust in commerce and beyond.
We at monetha believe that trust and reputation is one of the main pillars of the blockchain technology, it is immutable, almost impossible to manipulate, transparent, transferable and with the help of Monetha it will be easily usable.
2018 will bring many new products and projects with implemented features of blockchain, we’re not even going to begin how many different decentralised apps there are. Of course, many of them will fail, but we will also have some significant winners, just like .com bubble had its own survivors like Amazon, PayPal, Google. It’s interesting that until the big corporations started implementing blockchain to their business, for the majority of people it looked like an over confident ambition, but everyone woke up and realised that it is a revolution when big companies such as IBM with MAERSK decided to create their logistic solution based on blockchain, banks implementation with blockchain, even Walmart is testing and considering about the use of this unique technology.
Some of us are sceptics, some of us are believers, some of us will wait and some of us, like Monetha, will act upon it to be a part of the revolution.