Author: Patrick Kim, CEO and Founder, Sentinel Protocol
At the turn of the decade, there was a white paper, and the Bitcoin genesis block. Since then, a new branch of technology has been coined: FinTech. Aimed at transforming the finance industry through more modern and efficient approaches, it has resulted elevated customer experiences, data security and the automation of key processes.
One piece of technology that is driving this wave of transformation is blockchain, which has become increasingly popular due to the successful adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The distributed digital ledger has many advantages, including being able to securely and transparently keep the records of all data or money transactions.
While Gartner believes that the technology will be a US$3.1 trillion business by 2030, many still have mixed speculations about its future. Why? Traditional security service providers face the challenge of being silo-ed, and not being able to share information’s due to the constraints of Intellectual Property (IP), as well as the lack of a decentralized platform where the contributors of all are recognized. This means that despite the growing interest in cryptocurrency due to the exponential growth prospects of the technology, crypto ventures remain risky. In fact, TechCrunch recently reported that over 1,000 cryptocurrency projects are already dead. Is this a sign of things to come, or are these just growing pains?
Here are a few broad themes that I think will hold considerable influence over the industry in 2019.
1) Digital payments meets blockchain security
We’re increasingly moving to digital currency, and new transactional experiences are key in Fintech. As developments in cryptocurrency continue to underpin this change, security will continue to be the focus of innovation in blockchain. Blockchain was created as a means to ensure the security of transactions, and this purpose is set to be where much of the innovation still occurs. Investments in tools and platforms built on blockchain for identity verification, contracts, and payments (and more) will be big. Specifically, I believe that Blockchain will have a huge role to play in cybersecurity.
Today, data is a key player for a number of businesses. Ensuring that data remains safe, secure, private and authentic is an ongoing challenge. Blockchain can help with this, via a decentralized system using biometric data and other credentials to facilitate and improve user authentication and access control systems. Additionally, blockchain technology can help businesses verify a file’s authenticity, by computing a unique cryptographic hash for their data files.
2) Increasing institutional adoption, but…
With cryptocurrency being at the heart of the Fintech revolution, distributed ledger technology (and the benefits of decentralization) is set to play a bigger role in the industry, including trade processing, cross-border payments, and anti-money laundering. It’s little surprise then to see that blockchain’s momentum is building, with the latest data revealing 230,000 on-chain transactions per day, the highest since the beginning of the year. As the blockchain technology that supports not only cryptocurrency but many other business applications mature, we’ll also see increased institutional adoption of the technology. For example, the Australian Securities Exchange has replaced their existing CHESS system with a blockchain based, distributed ledger technology.
However, the impact of distributed ledger technology may be greater than any of us realize, legacy institutions are likely to continue with a slow approach in adopting blockchain technology, providing an opportunity for a new wave of businesses to take advantage of the hype of blockchain technology — and are set to be disruptors in the field. These are the businesses who will be able to implement blockchain as a part of their business model, as opposed to having blockchain supplementing it.
3) Lack of blockchain talent might prove a roadblock
The lack of talent in technology and FinTech isn’t news to anyone in the industry. And given that blockchain is one of the hottest tech trends in the world today, finding the right talent with the prerequisite skills is a monumentally difficult task. In fact, blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market; there are now 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer.
This skill shortage could potentially hinder the development of blockchain-based technologies. While almost two-thirds of businesses have already deployed blockchain technology, or are looking to do that soon, the skills shortage may make such implementations a challenge.
When all these factors come together, society as a whole should get closer to closing the blockchain skills gap. However, accomplishing this feat means putting forth concentrated and ongoing efforts.
Building a safer future with Blockchain
Blockchain can be turned into a secure, decentralized platform where anyone can contribute information, which will help prevent ill-intentioned cyber activities such as money laundering and hacking plans. This is where we believe building Sentinel Protocol’s profile as a cybersecurity platform and provider for users and buyers alike can help.
This is our first step in educating the community using by sharing our security and technology knowledge, which has been hard earned through our own experience. We are also developing a community forum to facilitate security discussions in the blockchain security space, and we hope that YOU will do your part in share knowledge by participating.