With Bitcoin and ETH prices back to the prices seen this time last year, it’s easy to feel like the hype around blockchain is subsiding. But while bar counter talk about Bitcoin is bearish, boardroom blockchain brainstorming sessions are the new corporate norm.
During a conference at IBM this summer, Wal-Mart’s Vice President of Food Safety announced a partnership with IBM to develop a global B2B blockchain for the global agricultural industry. Currently, unreliable data and backlogs of paperwork lead to over 48 million cases of foodborne illness per year, worldwide, according to the CDC. IBM and Wal-Mart hope that a global food safety blockchain could help prevent contamination risks by maintaining a shared, transparent ledger, containing the entire history of every article of food—from production, to quality testing, to shipping and consumption—saving up to 3,000 lives per year, and hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs.
In the meantime, the Linux Foundation’s public, enterprise-grade, and scalable blockchain fabric called Hyperledger has grown to include members such as banks, software companies, Fortune 500 companies and universities around the globe, with the aim of allowing blockchain-based business improvements to become implemented at the largest possible scale.
The aim of Hyperledger is to provide a framework of tools to allow businesses around the world to take advantage of blockchain for their own enterprises, ultimately becoming part of a single, globally shared distributed ledger that enables everything from cross-border transactions to seamlessly automated contract executions, while protecting sensitive information.
The projects described above constitute only a fraction of the current innovation explosion surrounding the invention of blockchain. Energy grid use, medical data, insurance information, and even our very identities are all gradually joining together on shared, peer-to-peer networks of information, accessible to anyone and subject to no one—a global backbone of trust for the 21st century.
And every single one of these networks will naturally imply the creation of one or many digital assets, to be traded via cryptocurrency. These cryptocurrencies may be proprietary, central to the networks themselves and purpose-built for a specific function; or, they may be open-source, decentralized currencies, tradable across platforms and across purposes for various goods and services.
And the new global, peer-to-peer economy will definitely demand a global, peer-to-peer currency to boot.
If you can think of any cryptocurrency that might be a viable competitor to Bitcoin for that mantle, get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.