Andrey Sergeenkov

@sergeenkov

Blockchain in 2019: Trends and the Future

Blockchain is a sphere that only the laziest among us haven’t been aware of both last year and in the present one. Although, in fact, the industry is much more extensive than many realize. It’s not just the earnings gained from cryptocurrency. Here, I will detail a selection of currently relevant blockchain trends which will remain influential in 2019.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

1. Lawsuits

As we know, there are many companies which will not fulfil their obligations related to their own ICO projects. And so, a whole wave of “deceived investors” will be expected to try and defend their rights in court. For lawyers it will be quite an interesting challenge. On the one hand, this phenomenon will make it possible to earn good money when a court case is won. On the other, current legislation is lacking in many respects when it comes to regulating the blockchain space. Whether or not these cases will be taken on using existing legal precedents as a basis, only time will tell. At the moment the situation is quite ambiguous.

2. The Revival of Blockchain as an Industry

When blockchain is no longer tainted by the “bad taste” in the mouths of those investors who were deceived by various ICO projects, legislation will be adopted that can effectively regulate the industry. From this moment on, it will finally be possible to talk about the real development of the space and the strengthening of blockchain’s image as an actual reality. Once this happens, a more justified growth trend for blockchain will begin, and investors will feel protected and more confident. The earliest this will occur is towards the end of 2019.

3. Issues of Security and Data Protection

Cybercrime in the modern world is no less dangerous than crime in the traditional sense, as people have become accustomed to perceiving it. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for projects associated with cyber-security. Startups offering real ways to protect cryptocurrencies from those with criminal intentions could become quite popular.

4. Blockchain and Gambling

Resolving the issues associated with regulating ICO / STO projects and computer security will provide new opportunities for the development of the gambling industry. Year-on-year, the online casino market is growing quite rapidly. According to analysts, over the next five years, the total revenues of online casinos will increase from $533 billion to $2.021 trillion. The industry is trying to accelerate this growth by introducing blockchain, which is ideal for gambling niches, as it allows for levels of transparency and security previously unattainable using standard methods.

For example, the team behind Faireum has even developed an entirely new independent blockchain based on the strengths of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger. In addition, there is Faireum’s consensus algorithm which is adopted from the Byzantine fault tolerance-based delegated proof-of-stake (BFT-DPos). The team states that attack on the consensus is virtually impractical and impossible, as proven by Faireum’s role models.

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5. Simplification and Acceleration

It is assumed that many more blockchain services will appear, all with simplified mechanisms of operation. This will increase their accessibility for people without specialized knowledge. As for acceleration, there should be more architectural solutions on the horizon that will allow for improvement to blockchain’s bandwidth capabilities. User transactions will be executed more quickly.

6. Competition among Nation-States in the Blockchain Space

Countries and jurisdictions will compete with each other to attract the best minds for blockchain-related projects. However, definitely not all of them will do so. Some governments were initially cautious about blockchain and came out with information policies urging their citizens to steer clear of this technology.

7. The Impact of IoT on the Blockchain Space

IoT trends and blockchain are becoming integrated in some areas. There are several different predictions regarding the future of this integration. According to some researchers, the penetration of blockchain technology into use in the Internet of Things will reach 5% by 2019. Other analysts see more prospects for integration, and believe this figure could reach a level of 20%. Regardless of the dispute over percentages, the trend itself has become quite visible. There are also predictions that blockchain, in addition to the Internet of Things, will also be used in the field of automated insurance.

8. Changes in the Attitudes of Major Banks Concerning Cryptocurrency

Last year, some large banks expressed the radical opinion of being against credit card transactions related to the acquisition of cryptocurrency by their customers. Some analysts believe that, in the near future, banking institutions will see the potential of blockchain and become more loyal in this regard. However, only time will tell whether these predictions will come to pass. In many ways, everything depends on whether or not blockchain will be more effectively regulated from a legislative standpoint.

9. Transition to Full-Fledged Production

Until recently, blockchain has been associated primarily with experimental projects. Only some of them have moved on to the level of full-fledged production. It is likely that this will change somewhat in the near future. However, in the future, blockchain will help with effective decision-making, taking into account the profitability of a given project.

10. Using Blockchain in New Industries

Many are saying that blockchain will contribute to the development of a multitude of industries. Among them, the most important will be insurance and finance. Perhaps the technology will be involved in the organization of deliveries, as well as payments in international currencies.

As far as insurance is concerned, experts say that blockchain will allow for the improved regulation of issues related to claims management. It will be possible to reduce fraud. The use of blockchain in education, transport, healthcare and even government is also being predicted.

11. Entering Asian and Middle Eastern Markets

The popularity of blockchain technology in the Middle East and Asia is now a noticeable trend. Local consumers have shown considerable interest in this technology. By the way, it was mentioned above how cautious major banks have been in their current attitudes toward this technology. There are some exceptions. Namely, banking institutions in Japan and South Korea. They are using blockchain experimentally, and it has already helped achieve some cost savings.

To Sum Up…

Despite scepticism, the blockchain space is developing and many companies see a future in its implementation. To summarize the current trends, they are:

● Strengthening of the industry to a higher level after a wave of fraudulent projects. Greater awareness from those who are involved with technology.

● Increased demand for cybersecurity-related projects. The development of a quantum blockchain project which could receive a high level of support in the event of the development of a quantum computer.

● The simplification and acceleration of modern blockchain services.

● The likelihood of nation-states competing in the blockchain space. At the same time, there will be countries that remain hostile to the technology.

● Transition from pilot projects to full-on production.

● Blockchain has entered both Asian and Middle Eastern markets. In the near future, it will be possible to see which of these expected trends remain hypothetical, and which ones will actually be developed in practice.

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