What is one of the most revolutionary technologies of this decade? Blockchain! The proponents contend that it has the potential to disrupt everything, and would touch every major industry. However, what is the truth behind this hype? Is blockchain the magic wand in tech that dramatically reduces costs, and makes the world a better place?
According to Gartner, a research firm that tracks technology, blockchain has only slightly passed the “peak of inflated expectations” stage. The report believes that blockchain is going towards an inevitable “trough of disappointment”. Moreover, Gartner opinionates that Blockchain has to wait before becoming a “plateau of productivity” with mass adoption.
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Gartner’s opinions might make Blockchain’s present situation gloomy. However, a recent study from Stanford Graduate School of Business “Blockchain for social impact: moving beyond the hype” has analyzed 193 organizations, initiatives, and projects that use blockchain for impacting the society. The report surprises us. According to the author, Doug Galen, most of the initiatives are getting their deserved share of attention and it’s not hype.
Blockchain Projects are Increasing
Ever since 2013, the number of blockchain projects has only been seeing an upward trend. Clearly indicating how new projects, organizations, and platforms oriented towards the use of blockchain technology. New ideas are added every month.
Blockchain Might be in Early Days, But with a Better Impact
Blockchain initiatives for social good are still seeking maturity. Out of the 193 projects, 34% began in 2017 or later, while 74% are still either in pilot or idea stage. However, as per the estimations, 55% of social-good blockchain initiatives were expected to show impact by the start of 2019.
The report says that Democracy and Governance initiatives are the top players with 64% of all projects were estimated to show impact at the earliest. Estonian government adopted blockchain early in 2008 setting the most advanced example of a government using the power of blockchain. Blockchain helped in increasing security, efficiency, and accessibility.
What Markets Blockchain Has Completely Disrupted?
Beyond cryptocurrencies, there are use cases where Blockchain has found to be the only solution to the prospected problem. 20 percent of the initiatives have found a solution to the problem which could not have been solved without the use of blockchain. 86% of the initiatives are providing forward solutions that are significant improvements.
While Blockchain might not be the revolution, it has been a breakthrough tech for many industries impacting society. We can also see how the percentage of people who did not find benefit from Blockchain is much smaller.
Improving Health By Blockchain
If we have to answer which sector blockchain has impacted the most, then Health is the answer. 25% of the initiatives were health focussed, the next sector is financial inclusion at 13%. Energy, Climate, and Environment rank third on the list with 12%.
We can never emphasize the importance of healthcare enough. With blockchain being a clear improvement in healthcare, it is showing its impact on society right through. One of the prime uses of blockchain in healthcare is in keeping track of the medicinal supply chain by using blockchain technology with thermal sensors to keep track of temperatures. However, energy-based initiatives will not be showing their impact soon enough.
Whatever we might say about the promises of blockchain being hollow, the report from Stanford is a clear depiction of how some of the initiatives are worthy of the popularity. While the technology is still in the early stage, the potential of blockchain cannot be questioned for social impact.