One of 2018’s key developments will be the expansion of blockchain into several new environments that will force companies to react. Firstly, we’ll see blockchain quietly being deployed into production at many banks – there will be less fanfare as we are no longer at the start of the ‘hype’ cycle.
Secondly, there will be consortiums formed in industry to tackle the issue of blockchain standards for specific areas of banking, such as trade finance or cross-border payments.
Finally, I think we can expect to see nation-states – in particular Russia and China – creating their own cryptocurrencies based on blockchain. They’ve been looking for a while at the possibility of trading commodities such as oil and gas in currencies other than the dollar as this removes the need to comply with US regulators. Blockchain offers a clear path to achieving that goal.
Stephen Holmes is CTO Digital Banking Lab at Virtusa