Predictions For the Future of Blockchain​

While looking to the far future of blockchain is extremely exciting, new innovations are constantly entering the market promising bigger and bolder uses of the technology. As active blockchain networks continue to bring real transformative change to a number of industries, the IBM Blockchain team predicted the following five trends in the near future:

Pragmatic Governance Models will Emerge

In 2020, we’ll start to see new governance models that enable large and diverse consortia to approach decision-making, permissioning schemes, and even payments more efficiently. These models will help to standardize information from different sources and capture new and more robust data sets. 68 percent of CTOs and CIOs even expect to see a scalable governance model for interactions across multiple blockchain networks to be an important feature of their organization’s blockchain environment in the next one to three years.

Interconnectivity Comes One Step Closer To Reality

Though reaching interconnectivity at the maximized level might be years away — and the definition of interoperability can take many forms— we find that 83 percent of organizations today believe assurance of governance and standards that allow interconnectivity and interoperability among permissioned and permissionless blockchain networks to be an important factor to join an industry-wide blockchain network, with more than one-fifth believing it to be essential. Although there’s still work to be done on this front, this year as more emerging networks attain critical mass, we’ll find that more members of a single network will expect (if not demand) guidance on integration between different protocols.

Adjacent Technologies Will Combine With Blockchain To Create A Next Level Advantage

Combining adjacent technologies with blockchain will help us to do things that haven’t been done before. More trustworthy data from the blockchain will better inform and strengthen underlying algorithms. Blockchain will help keep that data secure and audit each and every step in the decision-making process, enabling sharper insights driven by data that network participants trust.

Validation Tools Will Begin To Combat Fraudulent Data Sources

With a need for heightened data protection mechanisms, this year, blockchain solutions will use validation tools along with crypto-anchors, IoT beacons and oracles, mechanisms that link digital assets to the physical world by injecting outside data into networks. This will improve trust and remove the dependency on human data entry, which is often prone to error and fraud.

Central Banks Will Expand Into Wholesale And Retail Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

With countries in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean beginning to experiment with CBDCs in real time, there is no doubt that they will continue to gain momentum in the new year and redefine payments in several ways. For one, CBDCs will see continued expansion in wholesale CDBCs, with some initial forays in retail CBDCs. Moreover, we find there will be increased interest in tokenization and digitization of other types of assets and securities such as central bond debentures for treasury bonds.

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