Blockchain technology has to be one of the biggest innovations of the past decade – it has had a ripple effect on several important sectors, from manufacturing to Fintech and education. Blockchain tech is poised to transform the nature of transactions and trade across the world, as well as transform several online services we use. We have tried to take a look at the top emerging blockchain development trends in 2021. From stable coins to interoperability, here are the latest blockchain trends that we’re likely see this year.
1. An Expected Rise of Federated Blockchains
Federated Blockchain is in fact one of the best blockchain trends in the industry today. It is nothing but only an upgraded form of the basic blockchain model, which makes it perfect for many specific use cases. The federated blockchain functions under different authorities instead of following a single secure, trusted node.
Experts are of the opinion that in 2021 there will be an increase in the usage of federated blockchain as it provides private blockchain – a more customizable outlook. Conceptually federated blockchain is are quite similar to private blockchain, with a few added features.
Unlike private blockchain, which is controlled by one organization, multiple authorities can control the pre-selected nodes of federated blockchain. This selected group from various nodes can validate the block in order to process the transactions further.
2. Stable Coins Are Going to Dominate the Crypto Space
Cryptocurrencies are possible because of blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin run on top of their own blockchain platforms. Many cryptocurrency prices are subject to volatility than traditional asset prices. Though stable coins are in their initial phase and it is predicted that by 2019-20 blockchain stable coins will achieve their all-time high. This high value of the stable coin will make them the second most looked forward emerging tech trends in the industry.
As the name suggests, these high valued stable coins are more steady and don’t fluctuate that often, preventing uses from worrying about frequent currency crashes. This stability factor allows users to invest in more cryptocurrencies.
3. Microsoft and Amazon Using Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
Another emerging blockchain trend is BaaS or Blockchain As A Service. BaaS is a new blockchain trend that is currently integrated with a number of enterprises as well as startups.
BaaS is a type of cloud-based service that enables users to develop their own digital products by working with blockchain. Most of these digital products are smart contracts or applications that can work without any setup requirements of the complete blockchain-based infrastructure. Microsoft and Amazon are few of the known companies developing a blockchain applications that provide BaaS service.
4. Blockchain is Expected to Transform Social Networking
Social networking has become an integral part of our daily lives. According to Statista, it was estimated that in 2019, there will be more than 2.77 billion social media users worldwide.
The introduction of blockchain in social media will be able to solve inherent problems related to privacy violations, notorious scandals, data control and content relevance. Hence the blending of blockchain in the social media domain is another emerging technology trend.
Implementation of blockchain in social media will ensure that all the published data in the social media domain remain untraceable and cannot be duplicated, even after its deletion. Moreover, users will get to store data more securely and maintain their ownership. Blockchain technology ensures that the power of content relevance lies in the hands of those who created it, instead of the platform owners – thus making users feel more secure.
5. Interoperability Among Blockchain Networks
Blockchain interoperability makes it convenient for users to transact from one blockchain network to others. In other words, blockchain interoperability is the ability to share data and other information across multiple blockchain systems as well as networks. This function makes it simple for the users to see and access the data across different blockchain networks. For example, users can send their data from one EOS blockchain to another specific Ethereum blockchain. This function also offers a range of diverse functionalities, for example, cross-chain transactions and also enhances multi-token transactions.
6. The Rise of Ricardian Contracts
A Ricardian contract is actually a human-readable legal agreement that is also agreed and signed upon by both the parties involved in the contract. Thereafter, it gets converted into a machine-readable contract that clearly defines the listed intentions of both the involved parties.
The flow of this Ricardian contract can easily automate the operations on various blockchain applications that are based on this technology. Ricardian contract can be stated as a smart contract and is both machines and human-readable.
7. Hybrid Blockchains
Hybrid blockchain is an emerging concept in the blockchain domain. It can be defined as the blockchain that attempts to use the most appropriate part of the public as well as private blockchain solutions. Hybrid blockchain operates in a closed ecosystem, hence every piece of information on the network remains secure.
Transaction costs are said to be much lower in hybrid blockchains as the influential nodes in the network make the process simple and quick to verify transactions. Another added advantage being, it protects from more than 50% of attacks as hackers are unable to gain access to the blockchain network.
8. Content Streaming to be More Secure With Blockchain
Content Streaming is one of the emerging blockchain technology trends of 2021 that will be highly popular in the near future. Popular movie streaming services like Netflix and Hulu can incorporate blockchain technology to store user data in a more secure and easily accessible manner.
Video, music and social media streaming companies can also opt for blockchain technology that will enable third parties to not only read, but even write information on the respective blockchain. The Blockchain promises to offer smart-contract technology, providing numerous benefits for video content to be stored and shared under a heavily encrypted and secure system.
9. Covid 19 Will Continue to Accelerate Enterprise Blockchain Adoption
Every business has been affected by the lockdowns and restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. One benefit of the pandemic has been that it has forced organizations to revamp their processes and digitize their operations in order to continue their day to day functions. Managers have realized the value of adopting technologies and integrating them in their operations earlier, rather than lag behind and be late. Organizations have recognized the need for security, smart contracts, instant auditability and trust. Blockchain technology will help deliver solutions which will establish trust and transparency. Organizations will continue to use blockchain databases and features in the solutions they create.
10. NFT’s will Revolutionize Digital Assets & Digital Art
Non-Fungible Tokens are on the rise and quickly gaining popularity across games, digital asset exchanges and blockchain platforms. NFTs enable digital scarcity. Meaning a single copy of a unique digital asset can be stored within an NFT and can’t be replicated. NFTs were originally popularized by the game Crypto Kitties but since then several digital art projects and startups have established themselves online. In game assets can be digitized and exchanged using NFTs. Digital rights management is another space which is set for disruption using non fungible tokens.
11. Blockchains Will Establish Secure Digital Identity
We leave extensive digital footprints when we transact across the internet. Digital identiy solutions will help secure our online presence and drastically reduce online fraud and identity theft. Blockchain technology stores data in a decentralized, trusted and immutable manner. Blockchains can ensure that a user’s single digital identity is stored in a secure and incorruptible manner. This single digital identity can always be up-to-date with the latest user information. Several digital identity solutions are being developed and integrated by online platforms. This trend is set to grow this year.
Looking at all these latest blockchain technology trends, one can guess that the year 2021 will be a significant time for this emerging technology in various industries. The major advantages of blockchain technology include lower transaction costs, protection from cyber-attacks, the option to change the rules, help maintain confidentiality and operate in a closed ecosystem. Hence there’s no denying the fact that the technology of blockchain is likely to impact many different industry verticals differently.
Authored by Shaan Ray, Blockchain Advisor & Strategist, Ionixx Technologies