Blockchain is Maturing, and Here’s How
The blockchain community has always been largely composed of developers, startups, and companies looking to make use of the technology to help to innovate and change their own businesses and sectors. But in the past two years, the industry has been hit with the heavy growing pains of a blossoming sector.
The explosion in interest in blockchain technology from retail investors in 2016, largely attributable to the ICO boom and Bitcoin price spike that year, has eventually led to some major problems within the crypto space.
But analysts are quick to point out that, though it seems gloomy in this bearish market, there is much to be optimistic about. More importantly, many believe that the growing pains experienced by blockchain are just that—natural growing pains.
As the industry matures, the flutter and excitement that once permeated coverage of blockchain may somewhat die out. But the industry continues to mature in several ways, and this is a fantastic thing for the technology and its users.
London’s World Blockchain Forum occurred a week ago, and excitement was at an unexpected low. Still, the brilliance of blockchain entrepreneurs and developers shined through, providing the media with several important takeaways from the important event. In particular, the experts who spoke at the event pointed out several reasons to conclude that blockchain is growing—not declining.
In the beginning days of blockchain startups and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), it was more than common for a company to go through the entire fundraising process without having developed anything close to an actual, functional product. This led to several problems, namely relating to a loss of investor trust in the market and, in extreme cases, the loss of funds when developers never followed through on their promises.
But at the World Blockchain Forum, the vast majority of presenting projects had already developed somewhat of a functional product around which to structure their ICO process. One project was a new platform which purportedly eliminates the risk of several security attacks that could affect existing blockchain structures. The key takeaway? They hadn’t even started an ICO yet, as they were waiting to first some out with a working model for their product.
In another impressive improvement from the early days of the industry, the World Blockchain Forum in London saw some of the brightest minds in the blockchain community successfully gaining the backing of major names with existing power in finance and technology. Many of these companies have already won funding or partnership from major global fintech companies, and continue to garner support from major names.
This would have been somewhat unheard of in the earlier days of the industry. But now, as the blockchain industry continues to grow up, these big names are adding more and more legitimacy to a market that so desperately needs it.
Regulation continues to be one of the most uncertain obstacles for the blockchain and cryptocurrency communities in the modern era. Regulators are often unclear on where they might end up landing on core issues facing the blockchain community, leading many companies to an unfortunate spot of wondering where they could fit into existing regulatory frameworks.
But while the old companies of the blockchain industry might have simply did what they wanted and hoped to avoid the swift angry hand of regulators, serious companies on the blockchain are now working hand-in-hand with global regulators to try to ensure maximum compliance. As an illustrative example, look to Smart Valor, a fintech solution utilizing blockchain technology. After a series of discussions with Swiss regulators, they secured permission to do business in the major country.
Reason For Optimism
All things considered, the London gathering on blockchain technology revealed a deep reason for optimism amid the gloom of a heavy bearish market. The blockchain community is still growing up. While this might mean trouble for some companies that do not intend to deliver on their promises, the forthright and determined blockchain startup has much to be excited about.