As we are celebrating ten years since the mysterious Mr. Nakamoto published Bitcoin’s whitepaper, some of us are obviously beginning to feel that the technology behind cryptocurrencies hasn’t been able to infiltrate other industries.
Considering the fact that blockchain is regarded as being revolutionary and disrupting for a variety of business, let’s try to figure out if things stand as bad as some media outlets are making us feel.
Bitcoin as a pathway
Yes, Bitcoin has been around for a decade along with the Proof-of-Work (PoW)-based blockchain technology which keeps its heart ticking.
However, according to the mentioned whitepaper, the king of cryptocurrencies was envisioned as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. As such, the technology behind it is serving a single purpose – to transfer funds from point A to point B through a certain channel.
It took years until developers realized that blockchain, as an immutable, trustless, and decentralized ecosystem can be used for other purposes than pure payments.
Ripple as a beacon
Since blockchain was firstly used for trustless payments, the first thing that would come to mind when thinking about use cases is – financial institutions.
Yet, these entities are usually traditional and don’t get easily sidetracked from the system which was earning them billions of dollars for decades.
Still, it took a startup from 2016, Ripple, around a year to develop a financial system based on the blockchain technology which already lured in more than a hundred financial institutions.
Yes, RippleNET ecosystem hosts more than a hundred various financial enterprises, which are utilizing the blockchain technology to improve their businesses.
Furthermore, their newest product for instant cross-border payments, xRapid launched with Mercury FX, Cuallix, and Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union already on board.
Leaving the world of financial magnates
Someone may say that the real implementation of the blockchain technology and a true confirmation of its disrupting nature would be if it managed to solve problems in other industries besides financial.
Let’s take the example of VeChain, whose ICO ended exactly at 11:59 PM on August 31st, 2017. VeChain is a platform which utilizes the blockchain technology to enable tamper-proof supply chain management.
Only a year and a half later, the same blockchain development company, after numerous other partnerships, signed a deal with the Norwegian shipping industry giant, DNV GL, during the Norway-China Business Summit 2018.
Just to emphasize the importance of the “DNV GL-VeChain Digital Low Carbon Ecosystem” deal, let’s mention that the witnesses of the signing were Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.
We could go on about various implementations of the blockchain technology, mentioning the likes of Ethereum and Basic Attention Token. We could use the example of how the technology is being applied in the football industry, from the distribution of tickets to the sponsorship of clubs. Or even how it’s helping people save money on electricity bills.There are numerous examples, instead, let’s compare.
Internet revolution as the comparison
We can say that instead of the whitepaper, the internet had ARPANET, which started on January 1st,1983.
However, it took until 2000 (17 years) for 51% of the global information to be processed through the new digital network.
Skeptics like to say that there are so many idle blockchain projects just sitting on the market, waiting for their coin to pump. And that is hard to deny.
Still, the example of the disrupting internet technology has taught us that only a tiny percentage of startups really lives to become giants of the industry.
Only a few will survive (says the law of innovation)
Yes, Bitcoin (or any of its many forks) hasn’t (yet) become a globally used trustless, decentralized payment system it was envisioned as. Partly because of its pioneering technology which is slowly being overrun by more efficient networks. Therefore, there is a chance that it may even end up like ARPANET.
However, the truth is that Satoshi’s whitepaper created a new kind of value – financial and technological.
As early as 10 years after The Whitepaper we can easily say that blockchain has proven its worth. And its one feature, cryptocurrency, is an unavoidable part of the system already used by many enterprises. But there are other features as well, why exclude them from your argument? Isnt it the whole point of the article
Can we say that blockchain is struggling to gain traction in enterprises?
Can we say that it is gaining traction faster than any disrupting innovative technology before?
Certainly faster than the steam engine – we can thank the internet for that.