Blockchain: Already a “Big Deal” in IT, Will Become Integral to Our Everyday Lives
Blockchain is an accumulating record consisting of packets of transaction data concatenated together. Although the origins of the technology trace back to at least the early 1990s, it wasn’t until 2008 when its proof of concept was best demonstrated by its central role in cryptocurrency transactions — most notably, Bitcoin. However, it is now evident that blockchain harbors potential well outside of the Binance exchange, best exemplified by its market’s projected growth to more than $67 billion by 2026 (from $4.9 billion in 2021). Accordingly, all present indicators point to blockchain technology ensconcing itself as an integral part of our quotidian lives. The following are three industries that blockchain is poised to reshape in the next few years:
Blockchain’s capabilities of ensuring decentralized, in addition to highly secure, storage of data that cannot be altered has gained traction in the medical industry as a platform through which patients can access healthcare like never before. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies are seeking to employ the technology as a means to track drugs and reduce counterfeiting. To illustrate the technology’s potential in this sector, a recent study has estimated that by 2025 blockchain could decrease costs in IT, operations, and data breaches by as much as $100 billion per year.
Blockchain has also opened up new whitespace in the rapidly expanding esports industry. Whereas previously, assets earned through gameplay could not be transferred from game to game, blockchain has now made it possible where players can earn digital capital and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that they can then openly trade on cryptocurrency markets. In fact, this market is predicted to reach $2.8 billion by next year just in India alone.
Food and Dietary Supplements
Botanical ingredient adulteration has been a persistent problem in the supplement industry for well over a decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. The inclusion of unlisted and/or unapproved ingredients into these products represents a significant public health risk. At this juncture, blockchain is establishing itself as a reliable method of assuring transparency and traceability in regard to recording a record of botanical ingredients from farm to shelf. For instance, Walmart has deployed a blockchain system to trace the path that vegetables traversed to reach its endpoint as a response to a 2018 lethal bacterial outbreak tied to romaine lettuce.
Although compelling, these examples just represent the preliminary stage of how blockchain technology will become an integral part of our everyday lives in the future. For those interested in learning more about blockchain, or even pursuing a career as a blockchain developer or architect, you can view ITU Online’s course offerings here.
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- “Blockchain.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 November 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain.
- Kharif, O. Healthcare Blockchain Could Save Industry $100B Annually by 2025. Bloomberg. November 16, 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-16/what-is-blockchain-how-the-technology-transforms-daily-life. Accessed 17 November 2021.
- Shultz, H. Pandemic-induced demand created field of dreams for adulterators, Blumenthal warns. NutraIngredients. November 8, 2021. https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2021/11/08/Pandemic-induced-demand-created-field-of-dreams-for-adulterators-Blumenthal-warns). Accessed 17 November 2021.
- Mearian, L. Walmart, Sam’s Club tell suppliers to get on blockchain network. Computer World. September 27, 2018. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3309042/walmart-sams-club-tell-suppliers-to-get-on-blockchain-network.html. Accessed 17 November 2021.