Believe the Hype: Blockchain Technology Outgrowing Its Cryptocurrency Roots
New applications emerge as virtual currency values drop
After years of bullish buildup, 2018 ushered in a decidedly bear market for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin dropped more than 70 percent of its previous value, while Ethereum and Ripple each shed over 80 percent of theirs. While a cloud of uncertainty may hang over such virtual markets, the future remains bright for blockchain—the decentralized database technology that serves as a distributed ledger for recording cryptocurrency’s acquisitions and transactions.
A number of tech leaders have welcomed blockchain’s currently diverging prospects as a chance to differentiate it from its roots. Commercial use cases can be found in such disparate settings as international shipping (Maersk’s TradeLens), diamond mining (Tracr, from De Beers) and even advertising. Amber Baldet, former blockchain practice lead at JPMorgan Chase and now co-founder and CEO of the application marketplace and developer resource Clovyr, finds blockchain critical to what she calls the “Internet of Value.”