As Bitcoin and other digital currencies continue to get all the attention as the ‘new shiny object’, exploratory Blockchain technology initiatives in business are on fire.
Because Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology has the possibility of eliminating friction and creating true trust in business processes, the opportunities seem massive. Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM, recently said that “What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”
That’s why in practically every industry — from insurance, to financial services, to supply chain management, even to producing a register of journey assurance of provenance and authenticity in things like exotic vehicles, valuable art, and diamonds from mine to store — the initial proof of concept on-chain pilot projects are surging ahead. The applications seem endless — music royalties, bio-pharma, autonomous vehicle technology, B2B sales and marketing — the list goes on and on.
The race is on, but not without hurdles in the road. There are no true turnkey applications yet — Blockchain is complex and requires brand new expertise. Regulatory and technical issues will surely mount as more activity in the space heats up and questions about scalabilityand security still need to be answered.
That’s not stopping UPS from investing $100M in Blockchain tech for their supply chain, — or Pacific Gas & Electric in California seeking funding for two Blockchain pilots , or even legendary De Beers seeking a secure way to track diamonds and provide a digital record the diamonds are conflict-free.
Finally, Blockchain development will be one of the hottest sectors of software innovation in 2018 and beyond. The race to acquire talent is on as more and more companies realize they need to get in the game. This is not the time for a head-in-the-sand strategy. It’s moving fast and literally could change the world of business as we know it in a hurry.