Unarguably, 2017 was a huge year for Blockchain - we have witnessed incredible growth with obscene ICO investments, alongside public regulations and security hacks. We are sure that many are trying to follow Blockchain news, since Bitcoins reached record-breaking exploits this year. But following such a phenomena may seem complicated, especially if you are new to the topic, since it is developing with a lightning-speed. That’s why we decided to list some of the latest Blockchain trends, for your better understanding of this profiting madness.
Bitcoins have broke every possible record
Let us start with an elephant in the room. For anyone living under a rock lately, we answer - yes, Bitcoins are a thing, and year 2017 will be remembered as a year, when it became a rising star. Its price has grown for more than 1700% during past year. Remember 2011, when Bitcoins were traded for $1 each? Well, in December 2017 the price has already passed $20K mark. And with financial giants like CME already starting Bitcoin futures trading, it is definitely not the end.
ICO makes money
Record number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) with more than $5 billion funding since the start of the year. Companies like Bancor, Filecoin and Tenzos has become one of the best projects for the last year, raising hundreds of million dollars. Of course not every ICO can raise its minimal goal, but judging by the latest successful campaigns, we see no problem for future projects to sell all the available tokens quickly.
Decentralized Exchanges are the future
With the rise of the cryptocurrencies it was only a matter of time when people will start to think about exchanging coins without entrusting them to a third party service. This is basically the core of Decentralized Exchanges. You are always directly in control of your coins and can conduct transactions directly with someone you’re trading. This system is completely anonymous with excluded server downtime risks. Some examples of modern Decentralized Exchanges are Bitsquare and NXT.
Era of Hacks, Frauds and Regulations
We also cannot forget to raise all the risks and problems that became highlighted, as a result of Blockchain success, during the last year:
- Being a completely online business model has certain weaknesses and hacking is one of them. For instance, ethereum-based company Parity Technologies was hacked for $156 million, making it the largest blockchain hack up to date.
- Since ICO works similarly to crowdfunding but without its regulations it opened a window for some fraud companies that pushed ICO’s for the projects they never had interest in developing. As the result, companies like Confido and Moolah simply robbed their clients and disappeared with their money.
- Earlier this year, ICO did not hold any regulations whatsoever, but situation is changing rapidly. Countries like China, for example, already banned all cryptocurrency exchanges. We will see what regulations will be shaped in the majority of the Western countries.
While blockchain technology already enjoys undeniably advanced features by the end of 2017, Blockchain can go even further and be used to track supply chain movements. It is going to be a really big step towards a secure global network freedom. Already some banks, like IBM, starting to implement blockchain based payment technology to make their own transactions safer.
Blockchain can be implemented directly into any city infostructure, creating a “Smart City” of some sort. Commerce, energy, security - all can be tied together, operated and enabled by Blockchain. And don’t forget about real currencies - digital tokens for Dollars, Euros and Yuans are coming.
Also, we will probably see some massive improvements in terms of scaling transactions. Currently Bitcoin can only work with a certain transaction number in a given time. This can change with an increase of Bitcoin trade, since transaction fees will drop, giving new solutions an opportunity to make future transactions better.
Currently there are not many Blockchain experts on the market, but with a further increase of the technology we can safely predict that more and more specialists will be trained and hired by companies in a variety of industries.
Essentially, blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has potential not only of disrupting financial services, but also of solving issues of trust and reducing costs in various industries that highly depend on intermediaries. In fact, it can bring a paradigm shift in the way all digital transactions perform. As the blockchain fever has heated up in 2017, we can definitely expect a steady increase in application of blockchain-related processes in companies that continue to harness the concept, by linking their businesses to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. New potential applications of a technology are being explored every day, and all of us, the governments, consumers and businesses will feel the impact. Perhaps, we are at the brink of the next digital revolution, after the birth of the Internet.