The Blockchain concept is a revisionist look at the Bitcoin White Paper that created this whole phenomenon. That said, with literally trillions of dollars of investment in Blockchain related business (over a trillion in funding startups alone), you can see four major categories of businesses developing. These are:
Business Process Improvement
This has garnered the most traction for a number of reasons.
- Reducing operating costs has a clear ROI, and easy to understand the objectives.
- Usually a ‘private blockchain’ which allows for governance and identification, of those who use the service..
- Allows major corps to maintain their control over their markets and clients
- Allows major consultant organizations to utilize traditional transformation/re-engineering teams who simply use Blockchain as an additional tool for process improvement.
e.g. IBM and Maersk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdhpYQCWnCw
Mostly the territory of startups and experimental accelerator labs. Here you get truly disruptive solutions such as federated models to replace traditional banking functions, equities, bonds and energy trading, insurance products, trade finance, health records management, enhanced IoT solutions, asset management, and identity management to name a few.
e.g. European banks to launch blockchain trade finance platform https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomgroenfeldt/2017/06/28/7-european-banks-form-blockchain-consortium-for-smes/#40e655b63818
Bitcoin and hundreds of other crypto-currencies, tokens, ICOs, and digitial currencies (some countries, like India are actively moving away from paper). Here is the vast majority of activity, in terms of transactions – easily 99% of the total Blockchain volume globally. Heavy world-wide adoption of digital currency as a payment method especially in Asia (e.g. China, India, Japan), and growing in Africa and Latin America.
e.g. China and Japan are largely responsible for cryptocurrency’s success http://www.businessinsider.com/cryptocurrency-china-japan-bitcoin-ethereum-2017-7
Blockchain has no standards, and the race is on to obtain a leadership position. Leaders currently are Hyperledger, Etherum, R3 and Ripple; but there are dozens of significant contenders. Regulatory issues abound as well, but the products are stable. The endpoints (eg exchanges, and source data) are the weakest links.
e.g. Leaders in infrastructure – https://www.ventureradar.com/keyword/Blockchain%20Infrastructure