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Blockchain overhyped?

The hype surrounding blockchain technology will recede sharply in 2018 as the cost and complexity of implementing blockchain solutions becomes apparent says GlobalData, a data and analytics company. Many of the early blockchain projects will either be quietly shelved in favour of more traditional approaches or they will evolve in a way which reduces their dependence on blockchain technology.

GlobalData’s Thematic Research report, ‘Blockchain – Thematic Research’, reveals that while the market is awash with absurd claims about the benefits of blockchain technology, there are some key domains where the ability to execute distributed transactions without relying on a single central authority will bring significant value. While blockchain technology will have lost much of its gloss by 2025, it will have found its way into the heart of many key business processes; especially those involving multiple, disparate, participants.

Blockchain is an electronic ledger of transactions that are continuously maintained in blocks of records. The ledgers are jointly held and run by all participants. Coupled with cryptographic security, this makes them tamper-proof (at least in theory).

In a world where computer code is trusted more than human-run operations – especially amongst tech-savvy, urban millennials – the blockchain protocol – often referred to by the umbrella term ‘distributed ledger technology’ (or DLT) – will come to be seen as a powerful antidote to the high fees charged by intermediaries such as banks, law firms and other ‘middlemen’ because it enables individuals, corporations and devices to transact with each other independently.

Gary Barnett, Chief Analyst, Technology Thematic Research at GlobalData, commented, ‘‘We are entering a new phase in the evolution of blockchain technology; over the next 24 months the more outlandish claims made by proponents of blockchain will be debunked and technology providers and users alike will begin looking with clearer eyes at the narrow but significant set of use-cases where blockchain and distributed ledger technology can add real value.’’

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