Blockchain’s project diversity
BWe’ve recently undertaken a significant update to our blockchain project tracker – adding the details of nearly a hundred new instances of blockchain related projects and products in development, out in the wild.
As before, we’re making this available as an interactive pivot table as we go along, but we’ve also taken the opportunity to refresh the infographic poster we launched earlier in the year to illustrate how and where blockchain was being used across all sorts of industries, in a variety of different project types.
In fact, the poster now contains two (complementary) views of the data – the first one breaks things down by project type (e.g. asset provenance, digital identities, etc.), and then in each case shows the extent of activity we’re tracking in different industries; whilst the second shows the level of blockchain activity across 11 industry segments first, before breaking each down by project type.
Click on the thumbnail below to download the full-size poster (PDF 1.3Mb), and print it out for your office wall!
And what does the new data show us?
Well, as you can quickly see from the graphics, the big change this time around is diversity. We’re now tracking blockchain projects in far more industries than when we first staring logging the data (around a year ago).
Whilst one of the reasons for this explosion may well be due in part to the greater level of granularity we’ve been able to go into with a larger dataset, there’s also a maturing dimension at play here. We are certainly now seeing far more instances of blockchain initiatives being announced outside of the technology’s initial base in financial services. And it’s not just manufacturing and government (where we saw the most non-fintech interest six months ago); there’s far more blockchain showing up in retain, healthcare, transport and travel, etc.
Also the spread of project types has evened up a bit. Whereas we initially saw an overwhelming sea of payment platform projects springing up (a natural major use case from blockchain’s cryptocurrency origins), followed by around a third as many (each) in digital identities and smart contracts automation – this set has been joined by as strong a showing for asset provenance projects (now the new second-place project type)… all of which supports the movement we’re seeing amongst vendors eager to assemble a coherent offering that injects blockchain capabilities (alongside IoT and AI) into supply chain management solutions.
Where now? Well, whilst a number of recent news reports appear to be anticipating a slow-down in blockchain interest in the financial services sector (as predicted benefits maybe aren’t being seen as quickly or easily as had been hoped, or where regulatory concerns are forcing a pause in procedures before moving to production); use cases around asset provenance and automation in manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management continue to excite.
Interestingly it’s here where vendors have chosen more to focus on embedding blockchain as part of the solution – usually alongside IoT, often with AI and analytics thrown in too – rather than lead on it as more of a solo technology play. This approach could shortcut blockchain’s journey to being considered alongside other key components as ‘another tool in the supply chain armoury’ – and bring us closer to a position where we have, say, ‘asset provenance’ offerings that just happen to be (in part) blockchain powered, but that tag is now longer the main story there; instead we can concentrate talking terms of more definable benefits and treat it more like a traditional IT project.
We’re by no means at that point yet, but come back again next quarter… where we’ll take another snapshot of the blockchain project market and see what it shows us about the hot spots to watch.