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The global market for blockchain could reach $60.7 billion by 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Last year, the market stood at $706 million worldwide and it is continuing to grow.
The big corporate blockchain players
IBM, Microsoft, and Accenture are among the biggest corporate blockchain companies. These firms are innovating with the distributed ledger system to manage global transactions across national borders. Earlier this year, Australia announced that it would build a national blockchain with IBM to boost business. The company also teamed up with Maersk to develop a global blockchain shipping supply chain. The financial sector is also beginning to capitalise on blockchain after maintaining a consistent level of skepticism. Major bank CEOs have declared that blockchain will underpin the financial industry “in five years.” For example, the World Bank launched a blockchain-only bond in August. Dubbed “bond-i”, it stands as the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed using distributed ledger technology. Furthermore, UK telecom regulator Ofcom recently received almost £1 million to research blockchain as a potential solution to managing telephone numbers. Ofcom will invite industry participants to trial the project between now and April 2020.
The rise of cryptocurrency
Many people are dubious of blockchain due to the technology's cryptocurrency roots. Despite this, the report states that cryptocurrency is now becoming increasingly popular. The report description reads "distributed ledgers support the payment system for digital currency to operate in decentralised mode by eliminating the need of intermediaries to centralise processing." As a result, blockchain "further enables tracking of financial transactions." Switzerland have begun to capitalise on cryptocurrency. The country introduced the first fully regulated cryptocurrency exchange earlier this year, in a move that opened up a “new era for capital markets.”
The demand for blockchain in the enterprise
Demand for blockchain technology is growing among the largest users of IBM cloud capacity, according to the report. The technology enables users to manage supply chains in real time. 60 IBM cloud data centres see blockchain as the top application driving growth, the report stated. IBM is also key to the Hyperledger consortium, a non-profit open source project that aims to establish standardisation for commercial use of blockchain technology. Earlier this month, The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Hyperledger teamed up in a collaborative framework. According to the statement, the alliance between the two organisations will “contribute to accelerating mass adoption of blockchain technologies for business.”
The future of blockchain
Over the past 10 years, the blockchain market has evolved relatively slowly. Today, blockchain is slowly gaining momentum as more companies are beginning to recognise the technology's potential. Deloitte asserts that blockchain currently stands at an inflection point, shifting from “blockchain tourism” to the building of practical business applications. While “blockchain is not quite ready for primetime, it is getting closer to its breakout moment every day.”
Silicon Valley engineers are even quitting their jobs at tech giants in pursuit of blockchain. Maximilian abandoned his job at Facebook to create Bgogo, which he hopes will become the top blockchain bank.
The fundamental barrier to widespread blockchain adoption is trust. Although blockchain is still in the juvenile stage of its enterprise career, the market clearly has huge potential.