Blockchain market 101: A $7.74B tech & vendor potential

From IBM to Microsoft how is the blockchain market playing out?

It is a strange world where lots and lots of people start getting genuinely excited about databases, but the epic promise of blockchain is that it can join the dots on all those data siloes. This could, if it all works out in practice, mean that your health records would be easily and securely accessible from anywhere, you could verify your interviewee’s Harvard degree, and governments could unequivocally be monitored against their development goals. The trouble is, like most visionary technology, there is some way to get there and at present the picture looks a little cloudy.

It is also impossible to get clear figures on the true potential size of the market because it is still such early days. Markets and Markets believes it be worth $2,312.5M by 2021, while Grand View Research puts a figure of $7.74B by 2024.

There are also several different ways to break down the wider blockchain picture - some of the most comprehensive work done here is Coindesk’s quarterly State of Blockchain. However, in short the technology is still new and in development – which means different platforms and frameworks are at play. There are also a number of industry players vying in the marketplace, which will impact how this technology is actually consumed in future.

Read an interview with the author of ‘Blockchain For Dummies’ and download the first chapter as a PDF - Blockchain For Dummies: What you really need to know

Blockchain: A technology question

Blockchain came to light as the ledger that underpinned Bitcoin. This brought with it a certain kind of up-front fame but is also misleading as the Bitcoin blockchain is neither the only one available nor the right one for most business uses.

One of the more confusing aspects of blockchain for those who don’t follow the day-to-day news is all the different ‘flavours’ it comes in. At present there are two main alliances: Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and Hyperledger. The first is a public blockchain with a ‘walled’ section for enterprise. The second is hosted by the Linux Foundation, based on a steering committee of which IBM is a key member, and brought out its first white paper [PDF] this August.

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