Crypto vs. blockchain
The year 2022 might be remembered as a very difficult period for the blockchain-related market. Mainly because the technology is still widely perceived through the prism of the cryptocurrency market, which, to put it mildly, has not had a good run recently.
During the market downfall, which began at the end of 2021, a number of events happened that resonated not only among crypto investors but also in the traditional world. The two most famous cases were the Luna collapse and the FTX scandal, which dragged down many individual investors, but also institutions. This may not be the end of it. Could the entire blockchain industry fall because of this?
I believe that blockchain without cryptocurrencies cannot exist, and I still maintain this point (there is no decentralized network without fees). But digital currencies are only a part of the whole technology. Therefore, I would not worry about the decline in the valuation of digital tokens in regard to the development of decentralized technology.
It is worth mentioning and being aware that during crypto boom periods, blockchain grows much faster. The reason for this is very simple, and that is because of the huge amount of money that flows into various types of projects.
In many cases, the initial enthusiasm that accompanies some of these projects at their launch often burns out and the creators stop working on them, even though they had not planned to do so before. But among all these projects, there are also many that seriously want to create things and change the landscape, and are able to develop thanks to funding. Each project, whether it fails or not, carries at least one huge value, and it brings more blockchain specs to the market. Of course, some of them will give up during a downturn, but just like with the ventures themselves, some of them will stay and create more excellent viable solutions.
Therefore, despite the very negative sentiment in the cryptocurrency market and the big slowdown in the Web3 industry, the technology is still developing very well, and there is probably more interest in it than you may think.
Current blockchain solutions 2023
It wasn’t so long ago that most of the big companies in the traditional market spoke quite negatively about blockchain. Today, it’s getting harder and harder to find a large company that hasn’t at least been interested in the technology. A report last year shows that already 44% of the world’s 100 largest companies are using blockchain in a range of their current solutions. In just a few years, the same brands that used to call blockchain a nerdy toy are today eagerly seeking specialists in the industry. Let’s look at a few examples.
Let’s start in finance, where blockchain began. A number of institutions are already implementing decentralized mechanisms to conduct money transfers. Visa and PayPal were among the forerunners that started this trend, and other companies followed. Trading, basing various types of financial assets and bonds on the blockchain, streamlining KYC (Know Your Customer) processes, and lending are just some of the applications used by giants such as J.P. Morgan, HSBC, Barclays, Intesa Sanpaolo, and even BBVA.
Another of the big trends among companies is the use of blockchain to manage various types of supply chains. Unilever, De Beers, Walmart, Adidas, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz are a small percentage of well-known brands that have already implemented or are in the process of implementing decentralized solutions that will help them improve the entire production flow.
An interesting and useful solution is the one introduced by Allianz, a platform that is used for international accident-related claims.
There are also a bunch of less serious usages connected with the release of NFT collections by well-known brands. Examples include Adidas and Gucci. As long as we’re on the subject of NFT, it’s hard not to mention the topic of metaverse and who is associated with it are, for example, Microsoft and Meta, but also less obvious companies such as McDonald’s and L’Oréal.
These are just a small fraction of a number of huge and wealthy brands that aren’t just betting on this technology, but are using it and that believe in its ability to evolve their services. It is safe to say blockchain is here to stay.
Blockchain as a trend in 2023
The implementation of blockchain by conventional companies is one thing, but the other, and in my opinion by far the more interesting one, is that about the development of this technology from the inside. As mankind, we are rather poor at predicting the future. Nevertheless, I will play clairvoyant and try to make a prediction about what might become the main trend this year. I just emphasize that I am not concerned with the valuations of the tokens associated with such projects, but only with the amount of work that can be invested in the development of the projects.
If I were to bet on the solutions that will make a big difference in 2023, I would say that it will certainly be DeFi. The situations surrounding FTX and Celsius, among others (the latter also declared bankruptcy, and a court recently ruled that customers’ funds no longer belong to them), showed once again the weakness of centralized financial solutions. Lack of transparency, fraud and misappropriation of funds are just some examples that bother traditional solutions. For this reason, people can increasingly use DeFi, which is devoid of these weaknesses, and this will translate into even more development in this area.
Another topic is NFT. I know that for many people this acronym is associated only with puzzling images, and this does not surprise me at all. However, when I say NFT, I mean completely different solutions that can seriously benefit from the use of this technology. Tickets, access keys, and certificates are all areas where NFT brings real value. I think this year will push it to an even higher level.
ChatGPT has recently taken over the world. The dust hasn’t yet settled after the release of version 3, and already there is some talk of another much more powerful one. ChatGPT is just one of the many AI-based solutions that are entering our world with a bump. But wait, where is blockchain here? Maybe nowhere in this example, but I am 100% convinced that this year will be full of solutions based on the combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain. What it will be concretely remains to be seen, so it is worth watching this trend.
There is one more thing that I feel will be strongly developed this year. I’m referring to Layer 2 solutions. Scaling up the blockchain is still one of the most important topics, and with the financial investments that have been made over the past years in Zero-Knowledge technology, among others, it gives confidence that the coming time will be very fruitful.
As you can see, blockchain is doing very well, and perhaps the best ever. If you’ve been plagued by doubts about whether it’s worth your time, I hope I’ve dispelled them by now.