Bitcoin is nearing its 10th year in the existing market and that indeed requires celebration.
The world has indeed seen a tremendous interest in blockchain across various industries and several countries, from about thousands of new startups, to blockchain labs which are cropping up in various commercial and federal organizations, to a number of consortia that have been set-up to look into solving the various challenges the industry is facing.
The year 2017 saw the democratization of cryptocurrencies.
What does democratization of blockchain involve?
The democratization of a specific technology can indeed happen in several ways. Blockchain technology has indeed empowered the people versus several organizations. Blockchain democratization will certainly attain success.
Kids are accepting bitcoin on lemonade stands and teenagers are investing in ether to pay for college and traders thus standing up crypto-trading desks which indicates the democratization of blockchain. In a way, blockchain has been democratized via cryptocurrencies, but the real democratization of blockchain is soon to happen.
On account of democratization what will take place this year?
1. Killer Apps
2018 might very well be the year of the killer customer app on blockchain.
While the CryptoKitties were fascinating, they also demonstrated some limitations of the technology platforms. Be it personal electric grid management, digital identity, gaming, loyalty or credit scoring, one will probably make use of a blockchain app in 2018 without realizing that it is backed by blockchain technology.
2. Major Tech Developments
Advancements will indeed come up in the next few months that will also make the use of blockchain platforms much easier than ever before. There is a scarcity of talent, especially in developers and architects.
3. Governments and Regulators will Drive Adoption
Groups are now engaging and leading in blockchain efforts after studying and enhancing speed on the technology.
They now do understand the value of blockchain for themselves and their constituencies. One sees the large-scale use of blockchain led by governments, initially in developing economies and smaller countries where the incumbents are less influential. Financial inclusion, digital identities, payments and regulatory reporting will be the main areas improved by blockchain in 2018.
4. Corporations and Non-Profits will become Major Players
Organizations will play a major role in translating the real commercially viable solutions and focus will be upon democratization of blockchain.
5. The Jobs Market Will take Note of
Talent is important in the job market. The decentralization of work has begun and blockchain will fuel its growth. One expects a world where one can monetize one’s time, skills and experiences on-demand and be rewarded with micropayments from a decentralized platform.
Work has been democratized many times over but it might very well be the last phase.
All that said, there might be a downside to the democratization of blockchain. If you consider blockchain as a non-human trustee, autonomous organizations running on blockchain are – as we have seen with the DAO – not so sci-fi anymore. The democratization of technology often requires strong ethical behaviors and, sometimes, a regulatory framework. We cannot overstate these aspects of our race to introduce blockchain to the world.
6. There will be Surprises
One has reached democratization in financial markets with several exchanges and financial instruments. The year 2018 will be the most exciting year in the blockchain.
Democratizing of blockchain will bring about the unprecedented level of change in the next decade.