Blockchain can be more than a technology that solves specific problems. While it may appear to fit neatly to solve some problems (and prove totally unnecessary for many others), blockchain’ s promised capabilities can help it mature into a foundational technology that serves as the basis for many new products and services. This awareness appears to be increasing in enterprises. Recently, I managed a panel discussion on blockchain with enterprise executives. Most in the room said that they now see blockchain as capable of producing revenue generating solutions, not only efficiency plays. They do worry that their own focus on business processes of today will limit their thinking by looking to apply blockchain for such business processes and their inefficiencies. But, Gartner’s forecast on business value of blockchain shows that the business value generated by blockchain over time will be nearly even between cost saves and additional revenue.
To showcase some of this potential, we recently published our ‘Cool Vendors in Blockchain Applications’. In this note, Ray Valdes, Fabio Chesini and I profile five companies that rely on the unique capabilities of blockchain technologies as a foundation for their business itself.
Cool Vendors in Blockchain Applications, 2017:
- Factom offers a distributed recordkeeping platform using blockchain technologies.
- Gnosis offers a general-purpose, decentralized platform to create and manage any prediction market.
- OpenBazaar has developed a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) retail marketplace facilitating commerce.
- SmartContract provides what is known as an oracle for smart contracts.
- Synereo is a platform for content creators to manage and monetize their content.
These are interesting companies for sure, but there are many more that have emerged and a far larger group will be born over time. After all, when you look at the innovations on an earlier foundational technology – the Internet, one of the largest innovations till date – Facebook, did not emerge for a full ten years after Netscape. Please see the companion note ‘Cool Vendors On Blockchain platforms‘ , where the focus is on interesting technology solutions.
If blockchain technology and decentralization takes off, we should brace ourselves for many exciting innovations that we cannot even imagine today. How do you see blockchain evolving? Does it have the potential to be a foundational technology?