For a long time blockchain was considered only to be a driving technology behind cryptocurrency. However, the modern approach to the blockchain is constantly widening for the last several years and covers more and more enterprise fields. Current blockchain development trends are some of the most promising for IT and FinTech industries that provide them with much attention from the major businesses.
The uniting characteristic of many modern IT development trends is that they are actively implementing new technological concepts on top of blockchain-based networks for modern corporate purposes. Due to the mentioned movement, blockchain becomes more and more popular among major businesses all over the world. However, constant growth of blockchain and cryptocurrency sector gathers not only the attention of business and entrepreneurs but also the attention of government authorities and remains under the pressure of becoming a target of the strict regulatory framework.
In this article, we will cover some of the most prominent trends that stand out in modern development movements of the blockchain industry.
For several years, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry were developing on their own. Some businesses declared their interest but were not really involved in cooperation with IT startups that were building blockchain-based solutions and had no such departments of their own. However, 2018 is a year that definitively established a strong intention of major businesses to gather all the possible profit that blockchain technologies can offer. Companies of every field from banking to retail are developing a way to implement it in their business processes. Mastercard, IBM, Auchan, Walmart, Amazon, Bank of America – all these companies are introducing or developing blockchain-based technologies, and the list goes on.
Blockchain has already found its place in financial interactions, loyalty programs, supply chain management, data management and is gradually integrated with the other fields. There are some cases that have already shown that distributed immutable ledger can sufficiently upgrade the efficiency of companies and it leads to more and more attention from big companies.
Internet of things
Internet of things (IOT) is a concept of a network that connects many physical deviсes, such as smart houses, vehicles and other objects that are powered by some type of software. The connection between them allows to collect data, reduce human involvement and optimize supply chains. Fast ongoing integration of the various types of software into the existing devices makes IOT one of the most active IT development fields and a big part of the development is an integration of IoT solutions into the blockchain networks.
Blockchain helps IOT-based systems with the establishment of sustainable data storage. IOT is already actively integrating products of the modern blockchain industry, including technologies like smart contracts and blockchain notarization. Cryptocurrency-powered transactions between machines in IOT can become a cheaper and faster alternative to the classic fiat transactions. However, IOT sets some challenges to the blockchain developers because, in order to be effective, machine communication needs to be performed within one blockchain or several very well connected networks.
Smart contracts are protocols that enforce the performance of an agreement by including the terms of the deal into the code of a program executing it. Smart contracts became especially popular after their implementation in Ethereum and were later included in lots of other blockchain networks like Lisk, NEO, EOS and others. Smart contracts are a great tool for the improvement of logistics, financial interactions and other important enterprise fields as they allow no place for unpaid products and work.
Smart contracts also help with an automation of the business processes with being included in the machine-to-machine interaction to perform transactions of information and funds. Various processes such as, for example, loading, shipping and payment for the products can become much faster and more efficient with the implementation of smart contracts. For a lot of blockchain ventures smart contracts development becomes one of the main fields of work. Multiple dapps, enterprise products and research concepts are centred around this technology.
Increase of government regulation
Growing amount of interactions between major businesses, blockchain-based companies and cryptocurrency ventures naturally attracts a lot of attention from the government regulators. Cryptocurrencies were already a subject of some regulations but the size of the legislative framework built around the blockchain industry is constantly growing. 2018 brought us an update of EU AML/KYC protocols that tightened the rules considering cryptocurrency exchange, multiple ICO investigations in countries like Switzerland and South Korea, and major attention from international regulatory entities.
However, some countries are embracing blockchain along with issuing regulations of it or even softening them. Both Malta and Switzerland, for example, established a very comfortable climate for the blockchain ventures. Iran, that previously totally banned crypto is planning to issue one of its own.
What to expect?
It’s probably fair to say that blockchain development is still on its early stages. Nevertheless, it is obviously one of the most significant technologies of the modern era. Nobody can say for sure if it will take the position of the most important informational technology as the internet did, but the growing amount of use cases indicates a positive trend for blockchain.