Blockchain future predictions


In 2017, cryptocurrencies swept the world. Bitcoin price soared to almost $ 20,000. The average ICO returned more than 10 times. ICO financing exceeded traditional VC financing. Blockchain technology emerged as the new buzzword chosen by executives. Is all this just hype?

We argue that this is only the beginning. In fact, both Ray and I left our work at the well-known technology research firm Gartner to join the blockchain movement. This is how we think blockchain technology will shape the world by 2030.

Blockchain technology

Prediction n. ° 1: Government cryptography

By 2030, most governments around the world will create or adopt some form of virtual currency.

The currency of the government of the future is inevitably cryptographic. Compared to the traditional fiduciary alternative, cryptocurrency is more efficient, provides reduced settlement times and offers greater traceability. The cryptocurrency can also be backed by real assets, similar to fiat currency, and its price can be artificially manipulated by numerous controls (for example, monetary policy to "print" more tokens).

In the short term, government-based cryptocurrency will become an area of ​​experimentation and exploration, led mainly by developing nations with unstable economies and weak institutions. Many of these efforts will move in a hurried manner, with a schedule driven by political concerns rather than economic problems or technical progress. Consider the Zimbabwean dollar, for example, which has suffered an astonishing inflation of 500,000,000,000%. Many Zimbabweans have already turned to Bitcoin as a hedge against their national currency, which increases the price of Bitcoin in the local crypto market. The creation of a new cryptocurrency presents a viable solution for the Zimbabwean government to alleviate the bleak perception of its country's monetary challenges. In the short term, such efforts could be very successful. Given that the "petro" of the cryptocurrency recently minted in Venezuela raised more than $ 5 billion during the presale event, many other countries will do the same. However, many of these first projects will inevitably fail due to the initial stage of technology that has not yet matured and due to the lack of internal knowledge by a respective government in charge.

In many of these cases, such experiments will be involuntary. In other words, governments that move forward with a cryptocurrency project may not realize that they are subjects of proof in their own experiments. Due to the lack of internally required experience, these governments will resort to external consultancies, some of which are newly formed and with limited resources. As a result, many governments will end up being victims of hackers, due to improper practices or incompletely implemented with respect to the management of private keys and related processes. This situation parallels the early days of the Web, where the main companies that were successful in commerce (but were not familiar with electronic commerce) made mistakes in the initial implementations, which resulted in the loss of data and funds.

In the long run, however, successful cases will arise. Next-generation blockchain technology will solve many current limitations, such as scalability, privacy controls, toolset maturity and interoperability. Stable tokens in prices regulated by monetary policies and backed by guarantees will begin to gain traction as they become more reliable as a means of exchange and as a reserve of value. Governments that have not been able to create a successful cryptocurrency will resort to "stable currencies" as their virtual currency of choice.

Sample companies trying to solve this problem today: Tether, BitShares, Maker, Basecoin, Carbon, Stably, Havven, Kowala, TrueUSD, Arccy, Sweetbridge, Augmint, Fragments, Petro and others.

Blockchain of future

Prediction # 2: Trillion Dollar Protocols

By 2030, there will be more trillion dollar tokens than trillion dollar companies.

There is a race among the four most valued companies in the world (according to the valuation of the stock market) in terms of which will be the first to reach a value of one billion dollars. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft are in a race towards the "4 comma club".

All these companies are representative of the new economy, one that perhaps should be called the economy that is no longer so new. This new economy is based on the transition from decades to digital businesses and online connections. It's the Internet economy or what blockchain advocates call "Web 2.0" (anticipating the next era, the era of blockchain, like "Web 3.0").

The old economy (traditional, prior to the Internet) is analogous, based on the extraction of oil and resources, in the manufacture of raw materials and the cultivation of food and accessories, and in the transport and sale of these through traditional physical channels . . Obviously, the real world will not disappear. It is where we live, breathe, eat and wander. But its economic role has diminished in the great scheme of things.

The new economy is a layer of value on the physical substrate. It has not yet spread completely in every corner of the world and the economic sphere. Its impact will continue to grow, hence the high and growing valuation in the stock markets. It is possible that after the first billion-dollar company, others also cross that threshold, and there may be three or five.

But the next era is emerging, and that may follow a different pattern from the previous waves of economic transformation. What the old economy and the new economy have in common is that both are based on the notion of a company. In business there is a long-standing notion of company theory, articulated in 1937 by Ronald Coase. The theory of the company seeks to address questions such as: Why do companies exist? Why do they grow? How are they structured? What are the different functions of a company? And so.

From our point of view, looking at a company seems to look at a single-celled organism, its internal subsystems and the semipermeable membrane that allows the flow of certain substances through that limit. Coase's theory is that companies exist because the cost of certain transactions or business processes within the membrane is much lower than having to cross the border. Other transactions and processes must cross the border (to do business with other entities), but certain functions naturally gravitate within the walls of the organization or agency.

Blockchain technology changes the nature of this equation. Dramatically reduces transaction costs and information flows. Where there was friction and impedance, these levels were reduced. Doing so erodes the traditional logic of a company, especially a billion-dollar company. Large companies exist, in part, because there is a great schism between the processes that occur within the walls and those that cross outwards. Blockchain technologies change the equation and favor the frictionless flows of tokens and other digital assets.

What this means is that, in the future era of the blockchain, trillion dollar companies will be replaced by trillion dollar tokens, tokens that support a decentralized ecosystem of entities that together play the role of the mega corporation. We are at the dawn of that era, and there will be more billions of dollars in 10 years than companies of billions of dollars.

Prediction # 3: Blockchain Identity for Everyone

By 2030, a cross-border identity standard based on blockchain and self-sovereign will emerge for individuals, as well as for physical and virtual assets.

If email proved to be the "killer application" for the Internet, identity solutions will prove to be the "killer application" for blockchain. Identity systems, as we know them today, are highly dysfunctional, operating in silos and insecure. Blockchain-based identity systems will solve these problems. These systems will provide a single source of verification for people's identities and assets.

The blockchain-based identity decentralizes data collection, cross-checks the data collected through a consensus mechanism and stores this information in a decentralized immutable ledger. It allows a lower risk of security breaches, significantly higher efficiencies, greater reliability and, most importantly, self-sovereignty.

According to various data sources, 1.5 billion people in the developing world lack proof of identity, including more than 65 million refugees. Blockchain-based self-sovereign identity platforms will provide the population deprived of their rights with tools to obtain and maintain legal documentation. The new identity platform will be safer and more reliable since it will be stored in a distributed ledger instead of being in the possession of a central authority. Blockchain-based identity platforms will also allow self-sovereignty, which ultimately means individual privacy. The decision to reveal identity information will be under the control of each individual. With the recent Facebook data breach scandals that dominate the news, the blockchain-based identity creates a viable and important solution to many data privacy issues.

Some use cases for data types stored on a blockchain-based identity platform include (but are not limited to):

- Government records (for example, date of birth, etc.)

- Reputation and trust scores (for example, credit history)

- Certificates and certifications (for example, university diploma)

- Health and medical records

- Tax identification records

- Employment records

While it is unlikely that, by 2030, a clear solution from start to finish will emerge as a clear winner, a high degree of interoperability between identity platforms will allow for ease of use and global cross-checking.

In addition, a blockchain-based asset identity platform will collect, store and share data for physical and virtual assets. It is anticipated that there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. From their smart refrigerator to the engine of an airplane, these "smart" chips are already everywhere. By their nature, IoT devices are continuously connected to the Internet. Collect, store and transport unique sets of data. Blockchain will provide a safe, reliable and efficient mechanism for these devices to transact between them. Blockchain will keep an immutable record of all interactions and allow instant payment settlements (for example, two IoT devices that transfer assets to each other).

Virtual assets will also have a unique identity in a blockchain. An example of virtual assets would be the crypto kittens, the fictional cats that exist in a virtual game and that live in the Ethereum blockchain. With the power of blockchain, these virtual objects become tokenized assets that, similar to physical assets, will have their unique identity. Ultimately, blockchain will allow an automated operating system that perfectly connects people with assets in both the physical and virtual world.

Sample companies that solve individual identity today: uPort, BlockAuth, Civic, PeerMountain, IDRamp, Sovereign, Sovrin, LifeID, TrustedKey, Ping Identity, SelfKey, TheKey, NuID, ValidatedID,, Microsoft, CryptID, ExistenceID, IBM , Blockstack, BlockCerts,, etc.

Sample companies that resolve the identity of physical and virtual assets today: WAX, Verses, BlockV, Xage, Guardtime, Filament, Chronicled, Blocksafe, DMarket, etc.

Prediction n. 4: World trade in a blockchain

By 2030, most of the world trade will take place taking advantage of blockchain technology.

One of the most promising areas where blockchain can provide significant commercial value is the global supply chain. In its current state, world trade is carried out through a chaotic and fragmented set of trade relations between parties that are not trusted. This results in inefficiencies, errors and fraud. This is a set of real-world business problems that are currently not resolved and cannot be completely resolved without using blockchain technology.

Some examples of real-world supply chain problems that need to be resolved are:

future of blockchain 2030

Counterfeit drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.
Food supply chain in China (the tragic case of adulterated infant formula)
Fake Louis Vuitton handbags and other fashion items in Asia
Fake car parts in North America
Gray market or counterfeit electronic equipment, including medical devices (the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 8% are false)
Business IT team: a leading manufacturer of business network equipment estimates that 10% of the products in its multi-million dollar supply chain are gray market
As is evident, problems in global supply chains are important and, in some cases, potentially fatal. According to WHO, tens of thousands of people die each year from counterfeit medicines. The solution to these problems is difficult because commercial ecosystems are fragmented, isolated, only partially automated and lack a reliable central authority with jurisdiction, resources and credibility to track provenance and certify authenticity.

Unlike the example of the banking industry, where there is an existing system (SWIFT) that works correctly and reliably, in the examples of the supply chain, there is no proven system that works. There is no order, only chaos. Therefore, interruption is not an option, because interruption implies disintermediating or dismantling an existing system.

What is required is "anti-interruption," that is, to put order in chaos by using blockchain technology as a force for unification: unifying disparate payment flows, physical goods and information. This will not be easy and complete solutions will take years to build. Indeed, one is building an ERP system for a business ecosystem, which means that it will take longer and will be more difficult than building an ERP system for a single company.

In addition, as mentioned earlier, the technology does not yet have the functional scope, flexibility, performance, efficiency and maturity. Once it matures, the problems in the supply chains are real and important enough that eventually solutions are created and blockchain will play a fundamental role in these future solutions.

Sample companies: Skuchain, Provenance, Blockfreight, Blockverify, Caravaggio, Cargo Chain, Chain of Things, Consentio, Everledger, Filament, Fluent, Kioog, Kouvola Innovation, Mojix, Modum, Synechron, Tallysticks, Tradle, Wave, Zerado.

Prediction # 5: (Blockchain4Good)

By 2030, the necessary improvements in the world standard of living will be attributable to the development of blockchain technology.

Poverty and income discrepancy are possibly the most difficult problems for humanity. More than 10% of the world's population, more than 750 million people, live on less than $ 2 per day. It is considered that more than 2 million people are not banked and do not have access to financial services. Although the general standard of living increases and world GDP is on the rise, the rich become richer and the poor become impoverished.

Blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the poverty gap. How? Financial inclusion, corruption reduction and downward access to assets that create value can be achieved. Here are three examples.

Financial inclusion is the most obvious benefit of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As is evident today, Bitcoin and blockchain allow the unbanked population to obtain banking services and, therefore, to receive payments. It is no longer necessary to rely on a centralized institution, such as the government or a bank, to give you permission to open a bank account. You can buy and sell Bitcoin in an open market (access provided to an encryption exchange) with access to a smartphone. Several merchants around the world and accept cryptocurrencies. By 2030, the cryptocurrency will serve as a de facto standard, similar to the way the US dollar is specifically accepted today.

Second, blockchain technology reduces corruption by creating transparency in official records. If you are a farmer in rural Latin America or the owner of a house in Russia, a corrupt official will no longer expel you from your land for having altered the property registration. All assets, including land, will be recorded in a transparent distributed accounting book with no open manipulations for the public to see.

Solving this problem will only have massive financial implications in the global economy. According to a leading economist, Hernando DeSoto, "dead capital" or, in other words, the property or asset that is owned but not legally recognized, is estimated at $ 20 billion. Uncertainty about asset ownership reduces the price of assets and the potential for trading. Therefore, by creating a transparent property and asset tracking system and tamper proof, blockchain technology has the potential to increase global wealth.

Finally, blockchain technology allows large-scale tokenization of value-generating assets that are only available to the rich at this time. Think of buying The Plaza Hotel in New York City or an expensive gold mining equipment that produces a steady and recurring revenue stream for several years. To buy an asset of this type today, one has to borrow large sums of money from a bank and assume an initial risk in the purchase. Blockchain allows tokenization of large-scale assets. This means that even if you are a farmer in rural Africa, you can now become a fractional owner of an active income generator, such as a gold mine.

Sample companies that solve this problem: Everex, ChromaWay, Velox, The BitFury Group, Factom, AlloyCoin, Disberse, etc.

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