Where do we stand with blockchain technology? Is it relevant for enterprise use? While the pandemic has had an impact on the growth of this technology, depending on the type of blockchain project, the new generation allows for increasingly credible use cases for B2B. Let’s decipher.
THE SHORT HISTORY OF BLOCKCHAIN
To better understand the issues related to blockchain, it is important to recall its evolution. Indeed, we can observe three major stages that meet different objectives:
- The first generation: blockchain is generally associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This is quite natural since these are the ones that have allowed the technology to be known and experimented with, especially in terms of security.
- The second generation: is marked by the arrival of Ethereum*. It has extended the possibilities of manipulated data to any type of digital asset (document, signature, intellectual property, etc.) and their tokenization, associated with the possibility of writing smart contracts allowing the automation of transactions. Ethereum has enabled the creation of private consortia, thus interesting the business world and promoting the creation of use cases around traceability in siloed business sectors.
- Finally, the third generation is that of permissioned blockchains (Quorum, Hyperledger BESU or Hyperledger Fabric). These offer an open infrastructure of trust supported by players mainly from the software world such as Microsoft, JP Morgan, IBM, Intel or Consensys. They have been designed for the B2B world and enable the management of rights for all players and therefore the pooling of infrastructures and the connection of silos.
It should be remembered that the evolution of blockchain solutions is very rapid, particularly because of the large publishers in the market who are federating around the Hyperledger solution. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the development of this technology: use cases and applications are multiplying in all fields and very quickly. The market is estimated to be worth more than 4 billion dollars today and more than 12 billion dollars by 2023.
If you want to better understand this technology and its foundations, I invite you to read our article on the subject.
BLOCKCHAIN: FORECASTS FOR 2021
What can we expect in 2021?
Forrester recently published its technology predictions for 2021 and here are the trends regarding blockchain:
MORE REALISTIC APPROACHES…
As mentioned above, the pandemic has had a real impact on the blockchain, amplifying some of the trends already underway. While 2020 is a year of taking the technology into account, more pragmatic approaches in terms of blockchain initiatives are emerging for 2021. This is because it is increasingly difficult to get budgets for pure research and development (R&D) projects – managed independently of the enterprise.
Thus, worldwide, 30% of the projects will go into production. This number not only reflects the more realistic approach to projects that Forrester has seen and the increasing maturity of the technology but also the acceleration and initiation of pandemic-induced projects that provide measurable short-term benefits.
REDUCED BUDGETS FOR EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS…
The more strategic projects in the long term are postponed to later dates. This is particularly true for speculative projects that require changes in market structure or regulatory changes. Companies in 2021 will therefore focus on blockchain projects that have clear benefits and solve concrete problems, especially those related to the supply chain.
THE ROLE OF BLOCKCHAIN IN AN ENTERPRISE CONTEXT IS AT THE HEART OF THE DISCUSSIONS…
Indeed, many technology leaders in business want to explore the role of this technology and its contribution to a company. Headlines about decentralized finance (Defi) have reignited the debate this summer. The reassociation of public blockchain with the more “Wild West” aspects of cryptocurrency assets, scares compliance and risk-conscious business leaders, making it difficult for even the most ardent proponents of blockchain’s technological advantage to address the topic.
CHINA SPEARHEADS BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION…
As part of China’s “new infrastructure” initiative, blockchain is seen as part of the country’s digital infrastructure. It is expected that by 2021, the Chinese government will be investing in most provinces across all verticals, and we will see a steady stream of systems going into production. China’s ambitions to provide global public infrastructure via its global blockchain network will not make much progress in the current geopolitical climate. The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) is also ambitious on the subject. Nevertheless, no breakthroughs are expected, although EBSI will see some progress in the form of pilot projects.
Would you like to get more news and information about blockchain technology in 2021? Contact us today.