The year 2017 witnessed a series of remarkable developments in the blockchain sector. Even if it was anticipated that a good number of proof-of-concepts would morph into real production, such was not the case. The blockchain market bloomed much slower than expected. Nonetheless, 2017 was also the year of certain unforeseen developments such as the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Will the blockchain area continue in the same direction this year? Here are some key forecasts.
What 2018 has in reserve for blockchain?
Will blockchain maintain the same trends as it did in 2017? Following are some principal trends and evolutions predicted by experts.
- The evolution of cryptocurrencies will stay chaotic
Even if this year blockchain is expected to continue booming like 2017, it is also predicted that its evolution will face multiple obstacles just like last year. The sector will remain risky due to the high volatility of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are forecast to attract more buyers and investors, especially institutional ones. Last year, it was rather retail investors defining the price of cryptocurrencies. 2018 will certainly see the emergence of a number of blockchain applications. The digital currency will, however, not replace traditional currency due to its unstable nature that should persist for some more years. It will hence stay as a speculative asset even if experts say that it should become a more mature sector than previously.
- Regulators will step in
This year, many countries will see an increased amount of regulations being implemented with regards to cryptocurrencies. Worldwide, legislators and regulators will aim to regulate the trade in Bitcoins and ban anonymous Bitcoins accounts for instance. Those gaps where cryptocurrencies have been going against existing laws should also be remedied. It is also expected that crypto exchanges will be audited and regulated. Same rules should apply to Initial Coin Offerings. In the same breath, blockchain initiatives will increasingly be assessed and a number of blockchain projects should never see the light.
- The financial sector will embrace blockchain technology
Blockchain applications are expected to infiltrate the financial sector in 2018. Larger banks will increasingly embrace blockchain payment systems, tempted by the advantages in terms of real-time processing, lower risk profiles, lower costs, and transparency. The insurance sector is equally expected to position itself as a key area for blockchain technology, especially with regards to claims processing and complex multi-party processes like subrogation.
- Blockchain technology is rapidly gaining traction in other industries
It is expected that blockchain will bring about a digital revolution in the manufacturing and production industries. One of the biggest growth areas where blockchain is expected to flourish is the chain management by providing transparency. The automotive and retail industries are those to be more influenced as blockchain can be used to minimize logistics errors as well as track deliveries and transactions.
This year, blockchain will equally be adopted in recruitment and HR. Blockchain CVs have already been designed to streamline the selection process by rendering the verification of candidates’ qualifications and relevant experience easy. HR departments may screen CVs in efforts towards streamlining and optimizing the hiring selection process. Apart from this, educational institutions, as well as employers, will have access to profiles to confirm this information, thus making the system fully reliable.
Blockchain technology has also managed to titillate the interest of the health industry. Considerable progress is expected in this area in 2018, such as in operational management, and patient’s database. Blockchain distributed ledgers are also expected to gain traction in the legal domain for the tracking of transfer of ownership.