Blog post

10 Innovative Blockchain Areas to Watch; Gartner Webinar

By Avivah Litan | August 30, 2021 | 3 Comments

Gartner colleagues Whit Andrews Homan Farahmand Martin Reynolds Scott Smith and I recently hosted a Gartner webinar that was especially lively thanks to the constant flow of great questions from a highly inquisitive audience.  You can listen to the replay here: The Opportunities and Challenges Surrounding Blockchain

Enterprise interest in blockchain is alive and well as some 450 attendees participated on a mid-August day.  The stimulating session points to a bright future for blockchain innovation.

While three fourths of organizations are trying to figure out the relevance and usefulness of blockchain, a full 11% already employ blockchain today.

See Figure 1 below for results from our informal webinar poll. These percentages are consistent with past formal Gartner surveys of CIOs and Blockchain Consulting and System Integration firms.

10 Key Areas of Blockchain Innovation 

Much of our panel discussion highlighted the important role of blockchain innovation, which we categorize here into ten main areas. These are key to future maintream adoption of blockchain, and the integration of centralized services with decentralized applications:

  1. Analytics and Intelligence for on-chain and on/off chain data: for various use cases ranging from system performance, smart contract behavior, anti-money laundering, forensics, security monitoring, fraud detection and customer analytics.
    1. Sample vendors: Metrika  (performance) Valid(smart contract behavior), Chainalysis, Ciphertrace,Elliptic,  TRM Labs (Blockchain analytics and forensics for multiple use cases such as anti-money laundering, law and tax enforcement, user behavior analytics, and more)
  2. NFT Markets and Data; NFT marketplaces: Opensea Rarible NFTs and community (coins) for influencers, e.g, musicians, athletes Nft.Kred   NFT data, e.g. Genome data Nebula  new forms of NFT asset based securities, securitized debt;  Drops NFT platform; Persistent storage ecosystems: Arweave Filecoin
  3. CeDeFi Services and Products driven by centralized companies wanting compliant protected access to DeFi: Sample vendors: AllianceBlock Bcware  Templuminc   Ciphertrace Defi Compli
  4. Tokenization of Real World Assets driven by new forms of liquidity and yields; Sample vendors: Fortunafi  Centrifuge    Legal issuance: DLA Piper Toko
  5. Blockchain Data Security and Trust; driven by ESG; for oil and gas sector – DataGumbo  Context Labs
  6. Institutional Custody for Digital Assets, including wallets – driven by access to new digital financial products and CBDC evolution
    1. Sample vendors: Fireblocks Metaco Trustology Trustverse Curv
  7. Retail Wallets (some with innovative ‘consumer friendly’ security protocols) driven by access to new digital financial products and CBDC evolution: Sample vendors/products: Conio  Metamask
  8. Decentralized Identity Services (with centralized identity issuers); driven in part by financial inclusion, verified credentials, and access to credit; Sample projects  Kiva Credit Bureau of the Future in Sierra LeoneCardano National ID Blockchain in Ethiopia
  9. Blockchain Integration and Abstraction Middleware; Decentralized Oracle Networks (Hybrid Smart Contracts), Token Bridges. Sample products/orgs: Chainlink Api3  Lithium
  10. Enhanced Blockchain as a Service; supporting multiple clouds, multiple protocols and services for applications, and interoperability between blockchains and legacy systems.     Consensys  Kaleido  Settlemint  Vendia SimbaChain

It’s a lot to keep up with as innovative blockchain projects multiply to support on-ramps, off-ramps, bridges, interoperability, integration, secure off chain computing, secure persistent storage,  abstraction layers, analytics, user interfaces, and more.  These products and services will support new forms of assets, commerce, trade, trustworthy contracts, authenticated data, social structures, and democratized governance mechanisms.

From a developer point of view, these represent a lot of new components to keep up with. But that just means there are a lot more capabilities developers can imagine, build and deploy.

Web 3.0 and the decentralized Web really is a major leap forward.  Given the plethora of existential problems we all face today, it represents one bright path out of them.


Figure 1: Blockchain Adoption amongst Enterprises today

Figure 2: Personal Knowledge of Blockchain Technology

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Comments are closed


  • Blockchain technology is the new kid on the block. And for all you know, it’s gonna change everything that we know about technology right now! It has given rise to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and has also been used by many other organizations in different areas of activity.

    By the way, this was a great post. I think the audience who are interested in blockchain technology would also be interested in checking out the tools that are essential for blockchain app testing. So, I am sharing the resource.

  • Avivah Litan says:

    Thanks Blockchain Testing – agree users need to check out and focus on the apps and value added services – rather than just the infrastructure layers.

  • manoj says:

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