Top blockchain trends in 2020
From buzzword to business, is 2020 the year blockchain will overcome its hype? 2020 trends include growth in hybrid blockchain and social impact projects.
Top blockchain trends for 2020 and years to come. A list of companies and projects utilizing this nascent technology for real life purposes.
In 2019 the volume of venture investments in blockchain companies decreased by more than half compared to 2018, but it is premature to predict a further decline. At the turn of the new decade, new major players are entering the race. Central banks in dozens of countries are exploring the possibilities of blockchain technology, and China is preparing to be the first to release its own national cryptocurrency.
The results of pilot projects of past years seem to be good, and the time is coming for mass implementations of blockchain for supply chains and accounting in China. The willingness of businesses to invest and buy stimulates the creation of technological solutions, and blockchain matures from complex technology for geeks to a clear framework of modern world problem solving. Let’s review major trends in the crypto and blockchain industry, which will be popular in coming years.
Governments embrace blockchain
In previous years, the most prominent examples of the use of cryptocurrencies at a state level were Venezuela (to combat the economic crisis) and Iran (to combat the consequences of American sanctions). But the most successful case is China. On January 10, 2020, the People’s Bank of China announced the completion of the final phase of digital yuan development.
The use of blockchain in China’s financial sector is not limited to the national digital currency project. On December 4, 2019, the Bank of China announced the issue of blockchain-based bonds for small businesses worth 20 billion yuan. In addition, China is leading in terms of the number of blockchain patents both among the largest financial institutions in the world (second place after the United States) and among universities and research centers.
At the same time, the spread of digital currencies in international settlements will require regulatory and infrastructural readiness on the part of other countries. In the context of current realities the international adoption of projects may last for many years.
On the other hand, already in 44 countries of the world central banks are considering the introduction of a blockchain at a state level, including the creation of national digital currencies. Some countries are not swinging at the comprehensive penetration of the blockchain into state processes, but are launching individual projects. For example, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will use this technology for KYC procedures, and Thailand will use it to refund taxes to oil exporters.
With the rapid penetration of technology into business and everyday life, the blockchain and knowledge of digital transformation are becoming a “soft power” tool of international diplomacy.
One of the key trends in technology development continues to be the use of blockchain-based voting solutions. It is likely that the discussion about the readiness of the technology for elections will continue during the preparation for the presidential elections in the USA in 2020.
Banks are driving force financial evolution
It seems that there is no longer a question of the applicability of blockchain technology by financial institutions. It is important not to be late: banks launch pilot projects on a massive scale or join existing platforms. Institutional organizations are placing large bets on digital assets: while ING is working to integrate them into its offer, HSBC already plans to transfer $20 billion of assets to the new custodial blockchain platform in 2020.
In the last couple of months of 2019 alone, there have been many pilot projects among large international banks: Commerzbank, Credit Suisse and UBS conducted the first transactions on the Deutsche Börse-HQLAx platform, Northern Trust is testing a blockchain-based bond sale for mass investors, Santander prematurely redeemed the $20 million bond issued on blockchain bond in September 2019, JP Morgan is using the same principle for automatic margin payments, and HSBC has conducted two transactions of letters of credit between Gulf companies.
In addition to their own experiments, banks continue to buy promising financial companies: Philippine UnionBank has invested in Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX).
Blockchain finds more use cases
The blockchain technology was actively tested for supply chains back in 2016, and now it seems that it is time for mass implementations. One of the pioneers, Walmart, has launched a cargo tracking and payment platform in Canada for 70 transport companies and several hundred retailers. Major companies in the car industry Volvo and Ford are using the technology to track shipments of cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries. They have agreed with the two largest battery factories, CATL in China and LG Chem in South Korea, with Oracle and IBM responsible for the technical side of the matter.
Nestle is launching a pilot at a blockchain to track coffee origins, while another joint project with Carrefour will track milk for babies. Amazon, Infosys and 26 other companies will use blockchain-based solutions to monitor tea supplies, while the Thai Ministry of Commerce will use the technology to track organic rice.
The projects are launched by major power grid companies and industry associations. Spanish energy company Iberdrola started 2019 with an experiment to track the source of energy to ensure that the consumer “green” nature of the energy supplied. Early in the summer, the Energy Web Foundation, a global association of more than 100 industry players in the energy market, such as Total, Shell, GE, Siemens, Duke Energy and PG & E, launched the first public blockchain dedicated to the energy sector.
Formation of new ecosystems
Microsoft has launched Microsoft Azure blockchain tokens to release “template-based” tokens, Bitfury — the corporate platform Exonum Enterprise, and Waves Enterprise is adapting Waves technologies. All these platforms are designed to quickly deploy the necessary solutions for business. The world’s largest provider of CRM solutions announced its Salesforce Blockchain to use data from the blockchain on top of existing business processes related to marketing and sales.
Not only technology companies but also international companies compete in this market, which is commonly perceived as an audit: mass implementations in logistics encourage KPMG to launch a platform for tracking supply chains in Australia, China and Japan, and EY literally in the last days of 2019 presents a beta version of its service for the development and testing of smart contracts and tokens.
In 2019, specialized industry blockchain associations as well as ecosystems comprising various professional organizations were actively developed.
On July 12, CargoSmart, one of the world’s leading providers of artificial intelligence and supply chain management software solutions, united 5 of the 10 largest international container carriers under the Global Shipping Business Network: CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Evergreen Marine, OOCL and Yang Ming.
On July 15, South Korea’s largest personal data operators, such as Samsung, Woori Bank, KEB Hana Bank, SK Telecom, KT, LG UPlus and Koscom, announced the creation of a consortium to jointly develop and promote a blockchain-based mobile identity system.
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