Current blockchain industry trends show dynamic changes in adoption and market adaptation. The situation with COVID-19 continues to accelerate business processes; blockchain as well. Companies that already use this solution, expand upon it, finding new implementations and entirely new revenue streams. Firms not convinced, cautiously experiment. No matter what’s what, blockchain trends for 2022 clearly show one thing – the age of distributed databases will continue to go strong, with many opportunities along the way.
We have mentioned various options for a reason. As you will see in a bit, there can be surprises on our list. Managers use blockchain for security, but also for expanding social media outreach and even to grow the cannabis industry. The age of blockchain 1.0 seems to be over. Experimentation turns into real innovation.
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Top blockchain trends in 2022
1. The cannabis industry uses blockchain to monitor production and supply chains. Mass legalization of cannabis, especially in the U.S. provided an opportunity for growth but also challenges. With 34 states accepting marijuana for medical treatment or recreational use, the push for effective processes rises exponentially. Tracking down a product’s origin, its legality, accountability, and product’s quality can be a challenge. Blockchain solves the problem of trust.
It also solves the issue of payment. Since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, transactions are made with the use of cash or through Bitcoin. There are many interesting developments in the industry, including the rise of MassRoots Blockchain Technologies back in 2017, that supports the medical use of marijuana with a customized platform. We expect these blockchain trends will shape the market even stronger in 2022.
2. Increased adoption of Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). This is another example of how blockchain is transforming. With the use of the cloud, companies can use solutions like a smart contracts to power or enhance their businesses.
If you go with Amazon Web Services, for example, you will join a bunch of companies that adopt cloud-based infrastructure to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. BaaS functions like a web host. It runs back-end operations for blockchain-based applications or platforms. We expect this blockchain trend to become very popular in the upcoming months since it opens up technology to an even wider spectrum of business options.
3. Blockchain-based transformation of social media. Social media are very popular. The problem with that? They are very popular. That generates several issues – from data security to privacy violations and internal leaks of information. The remedy? Blowing up the old model.
New social media can and do work based on anonymous messaging and decentralized networks. They offer secure in-app digital currencies. They are also more controlled and centralized when it comes to content and inaccessible for Google indexing mechanisms.
That’s why the implementation of blockchain in social media raises concerns and generates further popularity of alternative channels, such as MeWe, Diaspora, or Parler.
4. Accelerated transformation of environmental goals. Power grids are stretched and overloaded. With rising energy consumption in the economy, gaming industry, and crypto mining, long-distance transmission and storage are troublesome. With the adoption of blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) systems, society can buy and sell electricity without intermediaries. A good example of such a platform is SunContract. It allows residential, commercial, and industrial actors to interact and exchange energy to be more self-sufficient.
The green trend goes beyond energy, though. Blockchain penetrates even recycling. With companies like Plastic Bank, we have the chance to clean up the environment.
5. Optimization of retail processes, production, and sales. When we think “blockchain”, we mainly see digital products and the vast world of the internet. What we don’t usually see is the opportunity to transform the physical world. Retail companies use blockchain for increasing production, customer data analysis, monitoring supply chains, and connecting store to retail banking for customers that want to buy in installments.
Some examples? Carrefour uses technology to track milk, meat, and fruit production from a farm to the store. Walmart utilizes IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric platform for supply chain tracking and customers’ traceability. The company also requires its suppliers to hop on board as well.
We expect this trend to rise because new technologies successfully entered retail sometime now. The new version of adoption brings operations to a new level. Retail managers already know what benefits they can provide, now they simply do it on a larger scale.
6. Larger adoption by small and medium companies. Even before the COVID-19 SMEs struggled a bit with the adoption of new technologies and business models. Rapidly changing market landscape and consumer demands forced firms to innovate. Here’s how they do it.
SME companies leverage blockchain to conduct cross-border remittances in one day. That’s a significant update in comparison to even two weeks. They can also easily spot frauds with purchase orders and invoices. By accurately matching bills from logistic departments, they can cut losses. They can also raise on-site credit approval rates by utilizing transparent, sorted, and accurate customer information.
In a semi post-COVID19 world, these types of usage can proliferate very quickly.
7. Surprising and unforeseen innovations in manufacturing. A retired United States Air Force (USAF) Colonel James Allen Regenor has built a blockchain-powered platform for buying and selling 3D printed parts. The process of this platform is to enable a decentralized process for manufacturing, printing, and placing orders for medical devices and other vital products and components. His story was even featured in Harvard Business Review.
This type of innovation doesn’t have to always come from big R&D centers. They can easily be done with a healthy dose of entrepreneurship spirit, and innovation in mind. The best part is that we can’t always predict them. New technologies help people achieve their goals with as little as access to the internet. As an example Regenor shows us, it’s a trend that will hopefully be intensified with post-COVID19 limitations. Or because of them.
8. Growing awareness and interest in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). A central bank’s digital currency is the fiat currency of a specific country in digital form. Proposed a decade ago, it gains some traction and raises eyebrows. Powered by blockchain but regulated and backed by a local governmental authority, it can successfully act as a new form of a local currency. All over the world.
Is it going to happen? Hard to say but the interest is going. The trend is stable and we should see a growing interest and debates in mass media.
9. Integration of blockchain and IoT. This is probably one of the most advanced blockchain trends out there if we can call it that. It requires an immense amount of technical knowledge, but also a vision for implementation and practical use.
Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly growing. With blockchain integration, it can hold up even better. The ability to store and record transactions and data exchange between machines (most of them of everyday use) can solve data draughts in many companies. It can also secure scalability due to the automated, encrypted, and immutable nature of blockchain ledgers and databases.
Blockchain and IoT go hand in hand. They are even opinions that they are made for each other and one could not agree more. With the adoption of both, companies can record and process even more information.
10. Blockchain will fuel Metaverse(s). It already is. And we mean that as plural, since Facebook, sorry, Meta, is probably not the only company working on its version of deeply immersive virtual reality marketplace and meeting space. This unnecessary long sentence shows what metaverse will actually be, which is something between “everything” and “we don’t know”. How does the blockchain fit into this?
With the latest blockchain market trends, we see that the technology can be used for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (Defi) as well. Companies that utilize NFT and other building blocks of metaverse are popping up everywhere. Even in video games. Here’s the example of Tank Metaverse.
Innovation pushes through the noise
What form will it take and how will it impact your business? That remains to be seen. Blockchain, as well as cryptocurrencies will shape business across the globe. The technological advancement, however, is nothing without a plan to make the tech work for us. Digital transformation can be used in many different ways. Make sure it’s used properly and with the help of the experienced team having your back.