In one of my previous posts on technology trends in 2018, I have mentioned blockchain as one of the technologies that will be the cynosure of all eyes and I have enough reasons for it.
In 2017, bitcoin became the next-door hero. But blockchain is not just about bitcoin, it is much more. 2018 in blockchain years is equivalent to the years of 1994, 1995, 1996 when the internet was starting to prove its potential.
This is a short curated post on the blockchain trends for 2018.
Blockchain Trends 2018
In the following sections, I have discussed about blockchain trends for 2018 in more details.
Lightning Network or Bitcoin Cash
The chances of bitcoin remaining as the default and most popular cryptocurrency depends on how successful Lightning Network is.
If the Lightning Network fails, Bitcoin Cash becomes more popular and bitcoin prices will go down.
However, if the Lightning Network is successful, bitcoin prices will surge. And 2018 will be a proof of that.
More Blockchain Adoption
This is clear from the word go – blockchain adoption will increase in 2018 and the years after.
There will be more industry specific blockchain platforms that will come up. And there will be blockchain platforms like Dragonchain that will be a catalyst for other blockchain platforms.
Of course there will be a long list of companies that failed to keep up, and perished.
One of the cryptocurrencies that take privacy more seriously will become the next Bitcoin. The one with superior “security mentality” will win the intensive war on being “the king of privacy coin”.
We do have quite a few like Dash, ZCash and PIVX.
DAOs or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations have been a concept in 2017. This year will see a few of them take off, even if they are in the proof of concept stage.
Follow leading companies like Colony, DAOStack for their ground-breaking work in this area that has massive opportunity.
Blockchain trends in 2018 might just be the platform for decentralized AI startups to launch their ICOs and pull off successful ICOs.
Money attracts money and decentralized AI will attract talent from global established giants like Google and Facebook.
Ramp up in Blockchain Education
Till 2017, we have seen blockchain education being restricted to software developers mostly.
However, 2018 will see customized programs for policy makes, lawyers, project managers, executives and MBA graduates, etc. to understand the implications and future potential of the technology.
You talk to me about smart contract platforms and I would tell you about Ethereum, the default choice for implementing smart contracts. A month ago in December, 2017 CryptoKitties (the most famous smart contract on Ethereum with 15% of all Ethereum Network) almost brought Ethereum down.
And that is where the team behind the so-far-successful Ethereum need to think, plan and prepare the platform to handle the scale and speed that it would need as smart contracts are more widely implemented and accepted.
And yes some competition is never bad for motivation. The likes of NEM and EOS can close the gap. Will they? Won’t they? 2018 has the answer.
One of the biggest issues that the blockchain community needs to address is the issue of scaling up. Currently to prevent the double spending problem, only one block can be written at a time (irrespective of the number of nodes that is participating). This makes the entire process serial in nature.
Blockchains like IOTA and Hashgraph have implemented parallelization which will prove useful as they mature. However more initiatives to scale up blockchains are required, which we might see this year.
More Crypto Valleys
Crypto valleys are places that have a high concentration of blockchain-related organizations. One of the shining examples of crypto valleys include Zug which is in Switzerland.
In 2018, you would see more such Crypto Valleys come up in developing countries which include the likes of Bratislava, Florianopolis, Panama City, and Muscat.
Can India have one? I think we are still someway to get there.
Regulating through the Blockchain
Instead of sending notices to individuals and companies, governments can implement smart contracts to make governance simpler and cheaper.
2018 may not see a 100% implementation of blockchain governance, but it will definitely start the process.
This year will see crypto go mainstream which means you can buy cryptocurrencies from retail brokers in the USA directly from their websites; similar to buying stocks or mutual funds.
Additionally, ICOs will be legitimized and will go mainstream too.
Simultaneously, reverse ICOs will intensify as existing organizations decentralize themselves.
Blockchain will rise the popularity charts in 2018. From well-established organizations to start-ups, blockchain is here to stay.
Are you someone who is new to the blockchain and want to gain some very basic understanding of the technology. Here is a list of MUST-READS to start your blockchain journey.