When people think of blockchain, cryptocurrency also typically comes to mind. Mainly, this is because of blockchains association with Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that soared to astounding heights as 2017 drew to a close and 2018 began. While there are hundreds of altcoins out there, Bitcoin is the one that was securing the most headlines.
However, after cryptocurrency mania peaked in January 2018, the market has mostly trended downward. One estimate suggests that $700 billion in market value was lost between then and now, showcasing just how far digital assets have fallen. While some of the losses are related to the high level of fraud in the cryptocurrency market, changes in investor sentiment and futures trading also played a role.
But blockchain isn’t losing any ground even as cryptocurrencies struggle. Predominately, this is because blockchain has uses outside the cryptocurrency landscaping, giving it stability.
Blockchain Isn’t Bitcoin
While blockchain allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to function, it isn’t inherently connected to cryptocurrency. Instead, it is a logging mechanism, and it can be completely separated from the cryptocurrency world.
Even as cryptocurrencies falter, blockchain maintains value as a standalone technology. Bitcoin and all of the altcoins could disappear tomorrow, and blockchain could remain standing on its own merit.
Blockchain is a mechanism for logging transactions. It serves as a distributed digital ledger and can’t be altered after a transaction takes place. This makes blockchain incredibly secure and reliable when multiple parties are involved, leading to a significant increase in interest in the technology.
While blockchain has obvious connections to the financial world - being a mechanism that supports real-time transactions, even across borders - it also has potential in other areas. Developers could use it to create solutions for monitoring supply chains, logging real estate title transfers, tracking medical information, issuing digital IDs, protecting copyrights, and much more.
This means that blockchain has a significant amount of potential, allowing interest in the technology to remain steady even as cryptocurrencies lose their luster.
A Fledgling Technology
While blockchain could be a gamechanger in numerous industries, it is still a fledgling technology. Big name companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of blockchains potential, and new developments are almost always on the horizon.
However, the speed at which blockchain-oriented solutions may become available may be negatively affected by the lack of tech specialists who can work with blockchain. Since it is relatively new to the larger business landscape and there aren’t many formal educational options focused on blockchain, finding suitable professionals to develop new solutions is challenging. This is especially true when today’s tight labor market (especially the low IT unemployment rate) are factored into the equation.
Ultimately, blockchain will likely maintain its appeal for the long-term, even if cryptocurrencies become largely a thing of the past. Since blockchain has potential in some many industries, it may succeed all on its own.
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