Blockchain set to converge with other trends in 2018

Via convergence and regulated investment blockchain may reach maturity in 2018

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One year ago, the blockchain industry was transitioning from underground tech favourite to mainstream solution of the future. As the months passed, blockchain technology fulfilled many expectations, making it a banner year for the emerging database platform. On one hand, many people were still confused by the general nature of blockchain; on the other hand, the very fact that many people in a wide range of business roles have even heard of blockchain demonstrated just how far it had come.

But 2017 was more than just blockchain becoming a buzzword for the IT industry. The blockchain industry made a significant number of real-world strides forward during the last calendar year. Consider the following notable milestones:

Voting: In Estonia, blockchain software was tested as an immutable and unhackable voting platform. While the trial run wasn’t ready for real results yet, it demonstrated the trust a national government has in the technology’s capabilities.

Investing: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) became a significant investment option in 2017. Using the Ethereum blockchain as its foundation, ICOs allow investors around the world to buy digital coins in a similar way as securities are traded. The difference? Investments are liquid nearly instantaneously—making it a quick turnaround for both fundraisers and investors.

Official records: With interest from the US government, blockchain startups have been engaged in looking at solutions for establishing and archiving official records across different industries. The application’s possibilities include centralising things such as DMV records, insurance records, and medical records.

With such significant strides in 2017, where does that leave things looking ahead to 2018? The upcoming year may be most noted as the time when blockchains went from the tech industry’s shiny new toy to a mature and accepted—and important—technology landmark. In particular, look for major leaps forward in two following areas.

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