In 2017, blockchain technology began capturing the attention of larger firms and some high-profile projects started to pop up either by startups raising money through ICOs or governments looking to solve administrative problems. This year, however, things are speeding up, according to an analysis by NKB Group, a blockchain investment bank.
“Initially, it dazzled anarchists with the idea of a world without institutions. Then it baited investors with the rocket climb of cryptocurrency prices. Now it’s the large organizations that seek to utilize blockchain in what they do. 2018 is the year of enterprise proofs-of-concept,” the company wrote.
The majority of the 500-richest companies in the world have already shown interest in the technology and are either running pilot projects or have already started using blockchains to move their data.
“Most Fortune 500 companies seem to be testing blockchain in some shape or form. Next year, we should see the first major real-world adoptions. Financial services are the likely pioneers of widespread commercial use, as they began prototyping first and seem to have the greatest expertise and requirement,” NKB Group concluded.
We can see financial companies and banks like Unicredit, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and even the Bank of Scotland starting their own trials for cross-border payment processing and other administrative functions. Even central banks like the Bank of England are looking into ways in which blockchain technology could improve transaction settlement. In fact, this year’s exciting pilots may get our foot in the door of some innovative solutions that could change the way we do finance in 2019.
In the retail industry, we see all sorts of companies from Alibaba to Walmart testing blockchain solutions primarily focused on supply chain management.
NKB Group also found companies in the telecommunications, logistics, airline, and automotive industries piloting their own proofs of concept. Volkswagen and Renault already use this technology to store telemetry and service history data for their vehicles, the company noted.