Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies are already making a big bang outside of the finance and insurance space from which they emerged.
Promising new use cases are being trialed in a number of digitally transforming sectors, notably supply chain management, retail and consumer, arts and entertainment, and public services.
Analyst firm ABI Research forecasts over $10.6 billion in software and services revenue for all combined markets globally by 2023.
“The success of blockchain in fintech has prompted significant investment in deploying the underlying infrastructure for application development and testing in other industries,” said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.
“Tech giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, HPE, and Oracle, among others, are pushing Blockchain-as-as-Service for first movers, often enabling integration with their existing enterprise software and cloud services.”
A number of high-profile proofs-of-concept and pilots with leading multinationals is driving both interest and increased investment in the technology.
Most notably, use cases for tackling endemic problems in the global supply chain are proving particularly popular. Blockchain is being leveraged to resolve complex issues around transparency, efficiency, and cost.
Successful pilots run by the likes of Walmart and Maersk in tracking and monitoring products on a global scale are emerging into commercialized platforms that will be market-ready in the next few months.
The successful transition of these test cases to commercialization in such a global industry will in turn drive efforts to deploy blockchain to address barriers and risks in other sectors too, especially in adjacent industrial markets.
The blockchain startup scene is dynamically rising to the challenge, with the brunt of activity concentrated in North America, Europe, and selected Asia-Pacific countries. Some highly innovative companies tackling the supply chain space include Blockfreight, Modum, OriginTrail, Skuchain, Sweetbridge, SyncFab, and T-Mining.