The vibrant blockchain startup industry has partnered with the proliferation of blockchain technology initiative among established corporations show that the technology is making some real inroads in a lot of different industries.
Even though blockchain technology approaches its tenth birthday, it is still a relatively recent innovation, particularly considering the scale at which it is expected to inundate the tech sector.
Blockchain rose to prominence as digital currencies soared in value last year
The blockchain, which was first introduced alongside Bitcoin in 2009, rose to fame as digital currencies soared in value in 2017. Interestingly, even though cryptocurrencies continually receive criticism and scrutiny from industry leaders, government officials, as well as financial titans, the blockchain is often touted as the heir apparent to the current internet infrastructure.
For instance, financial industry elites, such as the CEO of J.P. Morgan, named Jamie Dimon, described the blockchain as indeed an essential assertion from someone that considers its origin partner, Bitcoin, to be a fraud. Besides, according to The New York Times, a lot of government agencies all over the world, more than 200, which include the Department of Homeland Security, were exploring the use of blockchain.
Shortly, the technology of blockchain is quickly gaining notoriety, but its future is anything but settled and determined.
All of this attention actually leads to some frequent speculation about where the technology is headed. In some ways, the tremendous hype phase of blockchain intonate that almost anything is possible, and the deluge of startups which enter the sector are parroting that message. They are also joined by large corporations which are pursuing blockchain technology by patenting new cases and ancillary add-ons.
Two years ago, investments in blockchain startups were limited. Data compiled by CoinSchedule has shown that just about $95 million was invested in blockchain initiatives with the use of the Initial Coin Offering or ICO mechanism. The first few months into 2017 would dwarf that amount.
Totally, nearly 400 blockchain initiatives participated in an ICO last year, netting more than $6 billion.
Of course, nothing can compare to the ICO market of 2018. Just nine months into the year, almost 800 projects have raised $18.6 billion towards their platforms.
Blockchain startups are the most prominently pursuing platforms
The most prominent form of blockchain startup innovation is actually directed toward infrastructure, blockchain platforms which facilitate the decentralized economy. For instance, EOS, which is an emerging blockchain technology for decentralized applications, raised the most money of any ICO, bringing in more than twice the amount as the second highest-earning ICO.
Blockchain startups are actually the most prominently pursuing platforms which strive to apply blockchain technology to finance, communications, as well as investment management. These initiatives intended to use decentralized networks, smart contracts, as well as tokenized infrastructure to leverage the capabilities of the blockchain technology in different industries.
The current startup culture is actually producing a flurry of ideas, some of which are going to succeed indeed, but many others are probably going to fail. As the co-founded of Ethereum, named Vitalik Buterin, explained at the EthWaterloo in 2017, it is an established fact that 90% of all startups fail. And, it should also be an established fact that 90% of these ERC20s on CoinMarketCap will go to zero.
Later, he doubled-down on this assertion, claiming that 90% failing is optimistic.
However, no matter the eventual success or failure of these new blockchain platforms, it is evident that they are pursuing prominent components of the digital age. Additionally, these startups are joined by a lot of corporations that are not going to be left out of this transformational moment.
Number of corporations making investments in blockchain technology
A lot of corporations are making essential investments in the blockchain technology. Unlike blockchain startups which are striving to create some new organizations based on the technology, these companies are integrating the blockchain into their existing infrastructure, and they are also patenting new developments in the blockchain space.
iPR Daily, which is a Chinese information provider that evaluates the intellectual property, has recently released a ranking for patent applications. Alibaba, the Chinese retail juggernaut, topped the list with 90 patent applications, followed closely by IBM with 89 patent applications.
Furthermore, financial institutions which include MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, as well as Accenture, made a list too. Maybe most notably, the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Lab filed a lot of patents, making them the only central bank to make essential inroads in blockchain technology patents.
The origin of blockchain as the accounting backbone for a digital currency actually makes it a natural technology for some other financial institutions, but the breadth of these patents also shows that the technology is spreading beyond just the financial industry.
Taken all together, the vibrant blockchain startup industry coupled with the proliferation of blockchain technology initiatives among established corporations show that the technology is making some real inroads in a lot of different industries.
In other words, despite the relative novelty of blockchain, it seems to be poised to stick around for a while.