Blockchain in 2019


Blockchain Adoption and the year ahead.

We are at a very interesting phase of blockchain adoption. 2019 for Blockchain resembles 1995 for the internet. We’re still very, very early. With the spread of any disruptive technological revolution, bubbles naturally form. The recent crash in the crypto currency market, shares a lot of similarities with the the bubble  which established foundational infrastructure and key organizations, which went on to flourish (Amazon, FaceBook, Google etc). Likewise 2018-2019 is a critical time for the development of core Blockchain infrastructure needed for Web 3.0   to materialized. This will provide the backbone of the next wave of development and success.

As blockchain digitizes the world’s assets, automates the world’s agreements, and enables self-sovereign digital identity for every person, place, entity, and machine, there is much to gain. Just as the Internet revolutionized how society engages and communicates with each other, blockchain will transform and commoditize how society agrees, trusts, and transacts online, in a decentralized manner. The cryptocurrency bubble made the world aware that blockchain existed, however we are just getting started on understanding where we can go from here.

Technology disruption is on the cusp of exploding, as artificial intelligence, automation, ioT, quantum computing, virtual reality, biotechnology and blockchain actuate from proofs-of-concepts into real world commercial adoption. Technology will become more embedded into daily life in unseen, but powerful ways. Here are my predictions for what happens next in the Blockchain ecosystem:

1. Improve token quality and functionality

From 1996 to 2006, over 85% of Dot.Com companies saw their market cap go to $0. Still, we witnessed the birth of the Internet and a flourishing digital economy that drives the global market today (Amazon, Facebook, Google etc.) The early token launches and ICOs were impressive experiments in fundraising and tokenomics, but these were early use cases. This year we’ll witness a maturation of the token economy, with added business logic complexity embedded into tokens, which will much improved functionality and utility.

With Ethereum and smart contracts, it is now possible to issue unique, provably-scarce, digital tokens to easily sell and track ownership of limited-edition and rare works of art, diamonds and other expensive collectibles. Some additional examples include; employment agreements that are paid based on story points completed, food programs that programmatically forbid the purchase of sugar, alcohol or tobacco products, a tokenized company equity table that allows for automated distributions of profit sharing programs…we’re currently only scratching the surface. The majority of these tokens will be developed on the Ethereum Blockchain. Here are some useful links to create your own cryptocurrency, launch a ICO and create a Blockchain-based decentralized organization.

2. Institutional investors continue exploration into digital assets

For large investors looking to store recent gains earned in their investment portfolios, Peter Thiel’s did suggest that people were underestimating bitcoin especially because ... it’s like a reserve form of money, it’s like gold, and it’s just a store of value. You don’t need to use it to make payments … and it’s a of hedge against the whole world falling apart. Most cryptocurrencies are down over 80% from their peak price last year. With upcoming Federal Reserve rate hikes, an inverted yield curve, an ongoing trade war with China, and fears the decade-long growth cycle may finally slow. We live in uncertain times. Additionally, all aspects of institutional capital markets will be available to blockchain-native digital assets by the end of the year. This includes trading custody, insurance, registered exchanges, USD-crypto real-time settlement, and proper investment vehicles.

3. Decentralized Applications benefit from ‘Lego Effect’ and Improved UI/UX

Thanks to the open source nature of the dApp community — along with maturing essential components and standards, the developmental landscape is now full of elements that can be composed into a powerful decentralized application in a way previously not possible. These include browsers, tokens, wallets, swap protocols and exchanges, data feeds, markets, IoT protocols, registries, name services and legally enforceable agreements, all functioning behind ta user interface. 2019 will begin a process of the creation of fully integrated stacks for industry verticals built on the main Ethereum network.

Following the lead of Rimble — an open source toolbox of beautifully designed, blockchain-compatible elements — design standards for decentralized apps will be raised in 2019. With better design and more seamless integration available, the next generation of dApps will be all about user experience or will be left behind. dApps will catch up to Coinbase — which has provided the first non-horrible user experience as yet in blockchain — and blockchain UX will mature fast in 2019.

4. Blockchain will ignite an efficiency explosion in global banking

Global finance operates much less efficiently than most people would imagine. There’s still an enormous paper trail, and the digital tools that do exist offer a poor, disjointed user experience. This year, banks and institutions will ramp up blockchain adoption in a big way, as they decrease settlement latency, enhance data management, unclog paper dependent workflows, optimize the KYC process, and eliminate human errors. Blockchain networks will take a massive leap towards reducing counter-party risk and fraud, allowing companies to proactively manage risk rather than just reactively responding to risk.

5. Users will reclaim personal identity

Thanks to technologies like uPortMetamask, and Opera, consumers will take greater control of their own digital identities — a core component of Web 3.0 infrastructure. Instead of logging into Google Chrome, Facebook, or LinkedIn, individuals will log into a custom, cryptographically authenticated browser they themselves own. The “Brendan Browser” will be open source software, audited by network participants and enabled by biometric confirmation such as facial recognition, an iris scan or a thumb print. Self-identification will be embedded into our decentralized browsers. A good analogy would be the use of a digital passport, to build reputations across Web3 and interact with marketplaces without sacrificing privacy, or security.