Most of the blockchain technology headlines revolve around the outsize performance (and then underperformance) of cryptocurrency, which closely resembled a roller coaster as Bitcoin gained 1,400 per cent in 2017, up as much as 1,935 per cent when it hit a record high of $19,666 in December 2017, before it crashed back to Earth in 2018 and settled around $3,400 in January 2019.
After the crash of Bitcoin and the chaos and intense instability endured by its peers and rivals, fuelled by rampant speculation and hysteria, the growing consensus among business leaders and businessmen is that the future of blockchain will need to be much more than cryptocurrency.
Blockchain technology will soon impact every major area of business, and we are already seeing this revolution happen right now.
Here are three ways blockchain is changing the way we do business.
A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called “blocks,” which are linked and secured using cryptography. By design, blockchains are resistant to modification of data. A blockchain can serve as an open, publicly-distributed ledger that records transactions between multiple parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. Made possible by the public blockchain or distributed ledger technology, smart contracts allow the performance of transactions between anonymous parties, without the intervention of an intermediary or any geographic limitation, in a way that is traceable, transparent and irreversible.
According to a report by PwC, 77% of respondents are planning to adopt blockchain as part of a production system or process by 2020, with the most likely use cases in Payments Infrastructure, Fund Transfer Infrastructure and Digital Identity Management.
Clearing and settlement processes are another area of FinTech ready for innovation. IBM and CLS, the largest provider of settlement and risk mitigation services for the global foreign exchange market embarked on its first blockchain project involving the bilateral payment netting of foreign exchange trades in more than 140 currencies for buy-side and sell-side institutions.
Wall Street, traditionally averse and competitive risk between and among its various disparate constituencies, is moving slowly, but surely, towards some kind of digital future that has blockchain at its very core.
Artists Rights, Licensing & Authenticity
Eastman Kodak, founded 129 years ago, struggling to compete in a digital age when smartphones have largely supplanted cameras, is finding a way to reinvent itself with its new blockchain venture. The KODAKOne image rights management platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. The platform allows participating photographers to take part in a new economy for photography, secure payment for licensing their work immediately when sold, and offer their work on a secure blockchain platform.
London-based startup JAAK recently announced its blockchain-based KORD system for managing intellectual property rights by connecting identifying information across labels, publishers, PROs, songwriters, and their representatives. Partners in the pilot program include BMG, Global Music Rights, Outdustry, Phoenix Music International Ltd, Sentric, Warner Music Group and Warner/Chappell Music. Users can connect to a shared data network utilizing the Ethereum blockchain, with the ability to insert, update, and remove their own information. This blockchain-based effort would create a public rights database and an immutable audit trail.
In the highly fragmented art world, collectors, dealers, auction houses, and the artists themselves struggle with assuring provenance and authenticity of priceless antiques, fine art, and collectibles. Intaligo, a New York-based blockchain startup led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, is aiming to change that with a unique blockchain solution to record authenticity and track provenance by verified entities. “
IT & Cybersecurity
Following a series of highly publicized data breaches at Yahoo, Equifax, Target and beyond, involving hundreds of millions of names, addresses, dates of birth and more, companies of all sizes are increasingly focusing on protecting networks, computers, programs and data from attacks, damages or unauthorized access.
MATRIX AI NETWORK, a global open-source, public, intelligent blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system has developed a Secure Virtual Machine to detect attacks on transactions by providing AI-backed vulnerability detection with fault-tolerant protocols. In other words, by merging blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, the MATRIX team has introduced formal verification technology during transactions to detect security vulnerabilities and even rollback a compromised transaction to its prior state. While this innovation has obvious advantages in the opaque world of cryptocurrency transactions, where fraud is rampant and can easily go undetected, it has potential far beyond the blockchain.
The technology provides a way of recording transactions or any digital interaction in a way that is secure, transparent, highly resistant to outages, auditable, and efficient. It is these features which form the bedrock of an effective cybersecurity system and is now attracting the interest of the U.S. millitary for protecting critical intellectual property and national security.