Blockchain is a distributed database model that could solve many problems around online security and trust. Its potential uses are far beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. There are many reasons to use blockchain. According to evangelists, it can be used to improve the security and integrity of any system that has multiple users. Below are some of the top trends this year for blockchain.
1. Green Initiatives for Blockchain
In 2022, the total spending on blockchain technology by businesses is expected to reach $11.7 billion. Due to the high amount of energy required to operate a blockchain network, it can create a high level of greenhouse gas emissions. This issue was the reason why Elon Musk decided to stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for his Tesla cars in 2021.
There are various ways to reduce the carbon footprint of blockchain networks. One of these is by using carbon offsets. Another option is to use energy-efficient models of blockchain. Ethereum, which is the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, is planning on adopting a point-of-sale (POS) model in 2022. Cathy Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, believes that blockchain’s growing popularity will encourage more companies to invest in renewable energy.
2. NFT Going Beyond Art Online
Non-Fungible Tokens, also known as NFTs, became the main news in the blockchain space in 2021. The meteoric rise of “Beeple’s The First 5000 Days” became widely known. It inspired other artists to also release their music in the same format. Like in other areas, the concept of NFTs has potential beyond its first use cases.
In gaming, for instance, the creation of Axie Infinity, a game where players can “mint” their own NFT creatures, has gained widespread popularity. Nike and Dolce & Gabbana have created shoes and clothing that come with NFTs. The concept of metaverse could also bring new opportunities to NFT users.
3. More Countries Coming Onboard With Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin
In 2021, El Salvador became the first country to allow Bitcoin as a payment method. This trend is expected to continue in 2022 as more countries will also adopt Bitcoin as a payment method. According to Alexander Hoptner, the CEO of BitMEX, several developing countries are expected to start accepting Bitcoin in 2022. He noted that the rising cost of sending money home due to global inflation will drive the adoption of Bitcoin.
Another area where growth is expected to occur in 2022 is national cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies that are created and managed by central banks. These digital currencies can be used for various transactions and can keep track of their circulating supply. Currently, several countries, including the UK, are working on their own national cryptocurrency.
4. IoT and Blockchain Integration
The concept of the Internet of Things is very compatible with blockchain technology, as it allows for the creation of records related to transactions between machines. It can also solve various security issues. In 2022, it is also expected that the concept of machine-to-machine transactions will gain widespread adoption. This could enable users to make micropayments using cryptocurrencies when a machine needs to purchase services from another device.
The development of 5G networks is also expected to drive innovation in the field of the Internet of Things. This technology will allow for faster connectivity between various devices, including smart appliances and equipment.
5. Manufacturing and Tracking of Vaccines Using Blockchain
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect various countries, it is expected that blockchain technology will play a key role in the development of effective solutions to prevent the spread of the disease. For instance, in a world where fake vaccines are being produced and sold, blockchain technology can help track the movement of these drugs.
There’s also a need to ensure that the integrity of the supply chain is maintained at all points of its journey. For instance, to ensure that the batches of vaccines are stored at the proper temperature, IBM has created a system that will allow healthcare organizations to easily coordinate with the distribution of vaccines.
A pilot project conducted by IBM showed how blockchain could help identify when a product recall is needed. For instance, if a batch of vaccines is causing an unusual side-effect, the blockchain could notify the manufacturer immediately.