The Week in Tech: Blockchain – hype or here to stay?
Blockchain, the shared database technology behind cryptocurrencies, touted to completely transform the way we transact, verify identities and execute contracts is perhaps one of the most talked about technologies of the past few years. And as with most hypes, there’s no lack of sceptics doubting the actual impact the technology will have. To help you make up your mind, let’s have a look at what’s been happening in the world of blockchain this week:
New research from blockchain news provider, CoinDesk, reveals that blockchain based start-ups received a total of $797 million in Q2 of this year (2017) alone. More than three times the amount similar start-ups raised from venture capital.
EY has teamed up with Estonian blockchain start-up Guardtime, Microsoft and insurance groups to use blockchain to streamline marine insurance in the shipping industry. They will now start a trial of the concept with the aim of rolling it out fully next year.
Whilst blockchain progress amongst IT heavyweights has been slow to date, there is now evidence that momentum is starting to build. IT giants including IBM, Intel and Microsoft have all began experimenting with the technology and how to use it to their advantage. According to this article, blockchain has the “potential to become one of [IBM’s] fastest-growing sources of revenue starting in 2017.” What’s more, the company has initiated 400 customer projects involving the technology.
The key advantages presented by blockchain are reported to be the security it lends to the transactions that take place in its driven platforms, as well as the transparency of transactions. The latter results from the fact that the technology enables every user on the network to see all transactions and balances.