It all started with Bitcoin…the first application built on the blockchain.
That the focus of blockchain is wrapped up with Bitcoin is not surprising given that its market value surged from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion over the course of 2017.1Yet Bitcoin is only the first application of blockchain technology that has captured the attention of government and industry.
Amidst all of the volatility and uncertainty, mainstream investors are making large and growing bets in the underlying distributed ledger technology.
Most tellingly, large investments in blockchain are being made. Venture-capital funding for blockchain start-ups consistently grew and were up to $1 billion in 2017.3The blockchain-specific investment model of initial coin offerings (ICOs), the sale of cryptocurrency tokens in a new venture, has skyrocketed to $5 billion. Leading technology players are also heavily investing in blockchain: IBM has more than 1,000 staff and $200 million invested in the blockchain-powered Internet of Things (IoT).
Interestingly, blockchain technology is still in its earliest days of development and adoption, leaving a future to unlock its massive potential value…once we move past the initial hype.