By Natalie Lord
Although blockchain technology is still in its infancy, the global blockchain market is estimated to grow to more than $60 billion by 2024.
The technology is being explored and adopted by industry heavyweights like IBM and Softbank, but there are also thousands of innovative companies globally attempting to find solutions to market inefficiencies by investigating the benefits that blockchain technology offers. These companies span a number of industries from financial services to content creation to transportation. We take a look at a few companies that are adopting the technology.
NVIDIA Corporation and Advanced Micro Devices, which are both Nasdaq-listed companies, sell their graphics processing units (GPUs) to individuals and companies who use them to mine cryptocurrencies and for blockchain ledgers.
Although NVIDIA doesn’t have a breakdown for sales of blockchain specifically, it has said that in the third quarter of 2018 it made a turnover of $70 million from GPU sales for cryptocurrency mining. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies may be related but they are different entities and as such it is difficult to identify specifically how important blockchain is to NVIDIA at present.
Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s CEO told CNBC recently that “Blockchain is going to be here for a long time and it’s going to be a fundamental new form of computing.’ He also confirmed that both cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be important drivers for the sale of GPUs.
AMD is another company benefitting from blockchain. The company recently said that the percentage of revenue related to blockchain with in the mid-single digits for 2017 saying that the company appreciates the time and attention that investors continue to pay to Blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Elsewhere, Salon Media Group is testing a blockchain ledger created by IBM to record ad-buying contracts, impression data and how much Salon will be paid for the ads.
Unilever has started using IBM’s blockchain to buy ads in the US and to keep a record of transactions. Such is IBMs commitment to blockchain, tech executives ranked it as one of the top blockchain companies in the world in 2017 with 43% rating IBMs blockchain technology above its competitors’ systems, according to Juniper Research.
Volt Markets, which is an energy origination, tracking and trading platform powered by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain; Ideo CoLab, a solar-panel designer; Filament, a sensor-making company; and exchange operator Nasdaq are experimenting with services that allow power generators and others to sell certificates relating to the generation of energy using blockchain technology.
Ideo CoLab has integrated its capabilities with Nasdaq’s Linq platform and Filament’s hardware (which uses digital sensors with blockchain capabilities) to issue renewable energy certificates (RECs) to producers for each kWH of energy their solar panels generate, thus enabling even small solar producers to easily track, prove and trade power.
Currently RECs are given to solar producers based on generation estimates and forecasts rather than on actual generation. Implementing a blockchain system would eliminate the need for a central agency to verify generation data, or work through inaccurate estimates because all the information is available instantly on a secure blockchain ledger. Further, Blockchain can reduce costs for public agencies administering RECs by streamlining trade verification and data indexing.
In a social initiative, M-PAYG, a Danish company, provides prepaid solar-energy systems to people living in poverty in developing markets and is spearheading a project to bring electricity to Uganda’s largest refugee camp.
Similarly, Usizo, the crowd-funding platform, connected to blockchain-enabled smart meters in underfunded South African schools so that donors could pay the school’s electricity bills. By using blockchain payments, donors can be sure that 100% of the funds given are being utilised for the intended purpose.
The nature of blockchain technology is fast enabling the transformation and increased efficiency of many industries around the world. Given that it is only in its initiation stages the potential for it to impact the world is immense. It’s one to watch, if not adopt.