By Natalie Lord
It’s most commonly associated with Bitcoin, but blockchain is becoming increasingly prevalent in sectors and industries beyond cryptocurrencies due to the nature of its technology.
In its simplest form blockchain is an open ledger that isn’t owned or stored by any single body, with the information it holds being dispersed across an army of computers. It’s used to make financial transactions but, because of the fact that it’s decentralized, it can be used to record all manner of information exchanges.
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM is a proponent of blockchain, saying:
“What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”
Whilst there may be discussion about the timeline for this to happen, it’s clear that blockchain is a transformative technology. Many industry experts agree that the impact of blockchain technology will be substantial because it’s changing the landscape of economic and social systems.
This week we look at blockchain in numbers to assess the growth and potential of the technology:
1.Blockchain’s market size was $317 million 2015 and $708 million in 2017. It’s predicted to reach over $60 billion by 2024.
2. Blockchain technology has managed and distributed more than $270 billion in transactions to date. According to research from Gartner, 300 million blockchain transactions were processed in 2017.
3. More than $270 billion worth of assets were being managed by the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) globally as of 2017 according to Gartner.
4. In terms of development and potential, blockchain is where the internet was 20-years ago.
5. In the past five years, Venture Capitalists have invested more than $1 billion into blockchain companies.
6. As of today, 50% of the world population or 3.77 billion people use the internet but only 0.5% use blockchain.
7. It’s estimated that banks could potentially save between $8-12 billion a year if they adopt blockchain technology with 90% of major North American and European banks currently exploring blockchain solutions.
8. One third of C-level executives are already using or looking into adopting blockchain technology.
9. The cryptocurrency Bitcoin pioneered blockchain technology. Bitcoin has grown more than 100% since 2010 and to date has more than 8 million accounts.
10. Tech giants like IBM and Microsoft are making substantial investments in blockchain technology. IBM has allocated $200 million and 1,000 employees to blockchain projects. It’s working with around 400 companies, looking at how to implement the technology into their businesses and has contracts to work with seven large banks on their blockchains.
Blockchain technology is still in nascent stages, but the enthusiasm with which it is being explored across various industries highlights its enormous potential.