Blockchain technology has come a long way since the advent of cryptocurrency 12 years ago. Although the technology was first adopted for decentralized cryptocurrencies, it has the capacity for application in wider use cases than just currencies. Indeed, the technology has been adopted for many other purposes, and this adoption is still growing. This article reviews how the blockchain market has grown over time and why it is likely to grow even bigger in 2021.
The Blockchain Market Has Grown Significantly
Since cryptocurrencies came as the first application of blockchain technology, many other sectors have embraced it. This includes those who argue that cryptocurrencies are not legitimate and should not be encouraged. This is because technology brings many advantages to the table that are relevant to today’s business world.
These advantages include speed, ease, cost reduction, and transparency. These characteristics of blockchain technology make it relevant in many industries at the same time. For instance, to make payments, such as with cryptocurrency, there is speed and low charges, particularly with altcoins. One can send millions of dollars in seconds, and it will only cost a few cents. This is a big shift from old payment methods that charge percentages of the amount and could take days to complete.
Businesses today are looking to save cost and time while maximizing profit, which is what drives them to the technology. The blockchain trends suggest that this attraction of businesses isn’t slowing down, and 2021 could be a year in which a much wider adoption can be expected.
Sectors That Have Entered the Blockchain Market
One sector that has really settled in the blockchain market is the payment industry. So far, blockchain-based payment has become very common with digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many more. The use of stablecoins, a group of cryptocurrencies with relative stability, is even becoming more common. These cryptocurrencies offer users the speed and accessibility that blockchain provides and, at the same time, low volatility, as they are pegged to fiat currencies, such as USD.
Supply Chain Management
Another sector of the world economy that has also entered this market is supply chain management. A typical blockchain project that offers this service is VeChain. With its VET token and VTHO tokens, the project disrupts traditional supply chain models and brings transparency, cost reduction, and speed to supply chain management. VeChain also puts control of the entire process in the hands of individuals rather than central control.
Such supply chain application is seen in agriculture and even in the jewelry sector. In 2020, a blockchain-powered jewelry brand, KIM Diamond, launched its flagship store and jewelry series. The brand uses blockchain to govern the integration of loose diamond mineral resources. The essence is to ensure transparency and prevent fraud in the process of integration.
In agriculture, the application of this technology ensures transparency and prevents wastage of products, as the supply chain is made faster. This boosts efficiency in the distribution of agricultural products and reduces food shortages due to wastage during distribution. These are just a few applications that are now available in the blockchain market.
Decentralized Finance or DeFi is no longer new. There is a great interest in the ecosystem, and investors are continuously running to it. DeFi tokens and exchanges operate in a decentralized manner with no central authorities. This gives individuals the power to run the ecosystem, and it is one of the things that have led to the phenomenal growth of the Ethereum network in 2020.
Sectors Yet to Be Tapped
Although blockchain technology has been adopted for some use cases, there is still a lot of ground to cover. Some of the sectors that are still potential areas for the technology include:
The issue of election fraud is a major one in developing countries and also some developed ones. One of the ways that have been suggested as a solution to this is the use of blockchain in voting. Even if there have been some trials, it is still not very accepted, as there are still a few adjustments to be made. However, this is one key area that can be revolutionized by this technology.
Blockchain can also be used in governance. This will be an easy way to check fraud and ensure transparency in the use of funds, as blockchain records are indelible and can be easily traced. If the world is serious about transparency in governance, then the use of blockchain for this purpose has to be on the table and could eventually become a reality.
What to Expect in 2020
2020, though a challenging year, was also a year filled with the adoption of technology like blockchain. In 2021, this adoption is likely to increase to greater heights, as more businesses continue to explore ways to cut costs, save time, and increase efficiency. The COVID-19 pandemic has also strained businesses greatly in 2020, which could force businesses to look for such technological solutions, even more, this year. As everything becomes digitized to keep up with the transformations of the digital age, blockchain technology will be at the forefront, and its acceptance is only likely to increase.
Blockchain technology has come a long way from just cryptocurrencies to other sectors, such as supply chain management, finance, and payments. However, more sectors need to adopt it to make it a globally dominant technology. 2021 could be a year when significant scaling of the adoption could take place. More businesses and even governments are taking steps to improve their systems in transparency, efficiency, and cost reduction.
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