Blockchain For Better: Why Consumers And Companies Will Join Forces This Year
2017 was a banner year for blockchain.
More media coverage and a spreading awareness among the general public led to an increased interest in what blockchain can really do.
But nothing stays the same for long when we’re talking about a revolutionary technology.
The new normal can be wildly out of date in just a few months.
Want to know what’s coming? So does everybody else.
To understand what’s ahead, we have to understand where we’re coming from.
Let’s take a quick look back at 2017.
Blockchain In 2017
Initial coin offerings were a big hit this past year.
By the end of December, over $3.5 billion dollars was raised through ICOs. Investors started taking blockchain and ICOs seriously, but there’s still work to be done.
The money pouring into ICOs is great for blockchain, but we also saw a lot of greed and less-than-reputable practices going on. People jumped on the bandwagon just to get rich. A gold rush is good for some, but it leaves others behind.
2017 saw celebrities endorse ICOs, followed by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. We also saw shady people pumping and dumping tokens like stocks. That’s not what we want for blockchain as a whole.
Blockchain companies need to keep their reputation in a positive place as the technology moves forward.
We know there are plenty of opportunities for misuse of blockchain, but I’m convinced we’re going to see more uses with societal value.
I call it Blockchain for Better.
But what does this mean for the general public? And what can we expect for the year ahead?
Blockchain And Companies
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are out of the shadows now.
It’s not just a few people with special knowledge. Corporations and governments are in on the action, and both corporate and governmental interests continue to move ahead with blockchain.
This year, the SEC will continue increasing regulations on ICOs and the crypto space, as it should.
The more stability in the market, the less reluctant investors will be to put money into it. A little regulation will go a long way.
Companies are going to see a new conservatism emerging in the blockchain space, with corporations taking responsibility and action to ensure consumers are protected.
That means more attention and regulation placed on the crypto space, which is a good thing. But blockchain isn’t immune to fraud or dishonest practices.
Unfortunately, people are going to continue attempting to commit fraud. The community is going to see more players, big and small, being caught and made an example of.
It won’t all be regulations and crackdowns though.
In 2018, companies trying to leverage the network benefits and new models for blockchain will continue building new products.
This means a new category of blockchain companies will emerge that will help push blockchain into the mainstream.
But instead of rushing forward with the newest uses possible, these companies are going to be focused on taking a step back. They’re going to work less towards technical implementation and more towards getting blockchain technology into peoples’ hands.
Blockchain And Consumers
In the future, we don’t need to know blockchain is powering our Auto Trader app or the decentralized custody transfer of our car.
We don’t need to know that blockchain underpins their food safety programs in the grocery store or at a restaurant. And we don’t need to know blockchain ensures we’re receiving non-counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs in their pill bottles.
But we should.
We should all know about these uses for the sake of the blockchain community and society at large.
It’s better if we have a blockchain-based stamp of approval on the goods we purchase, the clothes we wear, and the food we consume.
This will help us work towards a broad system of reporting and disclosure.
It’s time to use blockchain as what it’s best marketed as — a ledger. A ledger for all responsible brands, networks and suppliers. A ledger that can help companies track conflict minerals, work towards responsible gun control, improve the supply chains, and so much more.
In the blockchain community, companies such as Better Kinds are working to build a network of brands, manufacturers and suppliers who have made a commitment to responsibility and stewardship. They’re working to create a way to prove that a a supplier is fair and ethical, that a brand has made a commitment to social responsibility, and that a product really is organic, cruelty-free, or fair trade.
And they’re going to utilize that network to focus on building infrastructure for innovative and sustainable business practices.
This is what we want, and it’s within reach.
Going forward, all companies and consumers involved in blockchain need to help uphold its reputation. It’s up to all of us. If we can do that as a community, we’re on our way to Blockchain for Better.