Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Blockchain has slowly gained traction in the enterprise since its emergence 10 years ago. In fact, late last year we saw digital workplaces using blockchain to share data and collaborate securely.
Blockchain in the Mainstream
Some suggest that blockchain will become mainstream in 2019. Elizabeth White, CEO of White Company, a blockchain based financial services technology firm that operates an exchange/wallet service, a crypto merchant processor and a crypto loadable debit card, agrees that that while 2019 will be the year of mass adoption of blockchain, it will only be for a few key, impactful use cases.
The reality, she said, is that the majority of applications being considered for blockchain simply do not need the distributed, trustless ledger that it offers and can be run faster and better on traditional databases.
White cites the example of supply management, or provenance. A blockchain is not necessary for this use case because there is a narrow group of users needing access to the information and the most important aspect of that information is not the transfer, (which is what blockchain is good for) but rather the input (which blockchain does not solve).
“There are certainly applications of blockchain that touch on supply management as it relates to trade finance,” she said. “The prime use case of blockchain is trustless and automated payments, and leveraging that technology we are building systems for B2B payments that can serve as escrow or conditional payment protocols.”