The last big technology wave was Artificial Intelligence, which started a decade ago and now AI has become a default ingredient for almost all new application architecture. It is fascinating to observe it’s adoption. It is becoming evident that blockchain will be used as a core technology component to build next generation applications. The overall market cap of $3 Trillion dollars is reflection of the success blockchain has accomplished in Crypto Currency and scaling Decentralized Finance ( DeFi) applications.
While the world is more focused on using blockchain technology for crypto and DeFi applications, it will start to evolve as a standard framework for trust and help build globally connected trusted communities without intermediaries. There are many great characteristics of the new trusted framework but security, decentralization, transparency and immutability stands out. The new trust framework is going to change human experiences forever just like how the Internet did two decades ago.
Today, ICANN working with Certificate Authorities (CA’s) help secure, manage and verify domain names. In the new blockchain world, HNS https://handshake.org/ is attempting to solve the exact same problem via Handshake naming protocol. It’s not an effort to replace DNS by any means, but to decentralize ownership of domain name registration and verification processes.
Origintrail, a layer 2 solution on Ethereum, is helping connect the physical world to the digital world and enables a valuable decentralized knowledge graph network. Origintrail is specifically focused on enabling capabilities to deploy supply chain solutions. There are many blockchain protocols underway to disrupt by providing decentralized capabilities to connect the world with trust thereby erasing friction from intermediaries and helping build globally connected trusted communities.
There is information overload about blockchain due to the number of players and solutions that have evolved in such a short duration. Like AI, Blockchain is emerging as a core technology component for most of the next generation applications. The two broad categories of blockchain are permissioned and permissionless (public) blockchain. The cost of operating a permissioned blockchain is more predictable when compared to the gas fee (transaction cost) on a permissioned blockchain. Hyperledger Fabric is a good example of permissioned blockchain technology which is being adopted as a framework for trust to support enterprise applications. Solana, Etherium, Polygon, IOTA and OriginTrail are some of the public blockchain protocols that can be used as a framework for trust to build next generation applications. There are too many attributes to understand when it comes to public blockchain including but not limited to gas fee, throughput, transactions per second and inter blockchain communication. It’s best to understand the specific enterprise needs for blockchain as they adopt a specific protocol. It’s too early to be fixated on a specific blockchain and ensure there is a clear migration or inter blockchain communication strategy defined, understanding the risk of the nascent stage of the technology. Blockchains today are very seamless, reliable and fast to exchange crypto currencies across the globe with no intermediaries. I believe it would very soon be normal to deploy business rules as smart contracts on blockchain and minimize the need for intermediaries to do business across the globe in a secure and trusted environment. In general both enterprise and consumers should be prepared to embrace the new big change to enhance human experience in a big way.
It’s fascinating to see the birth of the Metaverse, which is expected to enhance human experience through digital representations and experiences. It’s becoming increasingly important to extend the physical representations to unique digital representations in order to participate and enjoy the benefit of the newly born Metaverse. Blockchain platforms would be foundational to do business in the Metaverse. Non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) which is a capability on blockchain protocol would be that medium to connect the physical representation to a unique digital representation and help establish unique identity in the Metaverse. Disney is already working on a Metaverse theme park and Facebook is renamed to Meta. The Metaverse market size is expected to be $800 billion by 2024 ( per earthweb.com). We are starting to experience an evolution of an extension to the physical world called Metaverse. It’s just the beginning.
While blockchain as a technology will help build globally connected trusted communities through various applications, it will also help build the next generation metaverse communities to do business in a trusted, safe and secure manner. It is highly desirable to include blockchain as needed, while building next generation applications. Using permissioned blockchain like Hyperledger Fabric could be a good starting point for enterprise.