15. There are social networks that run on blockchains.
One of the best known is Steemit, a blogging network that rewards users for posting or curating content. The network’s base token is called Steem coin. Every time a user uploads articles or posts comments, he or she is rewarded with the network’s native token. At the time of writing, the Steem value is $0.410965, and it’s ranked 69th on CoinMarketCap.
16. There are more than 39,000,000 blockchain wallet users as of June 2019.
A blockchain wallet, or e-wallet, is a software program that lets users receive, store, and spend digital currencies. A typical blockchain wallet interface shows the current balance for stored cryptocurrencies and displays the history of transactions. Blockchain wallet users can send a request to other parties for a specific amount of BTC, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, Tether, or other digital currencies.
A unique address is generated for each request. Users can send funds to other unique addresses using their e-wallets too. E-wallets can be stored online or offline; the latter method is much safer.
When a user initiates a first-ever crypto-transaction, a digital wallet generates the private key, which then generates the public key. Both are represented as strings of alphanumeric characters. The unique address to which the transactions are sent is actually a hashed version of the public key. The private key is known only by the wallet’s owner, and it allows access to cryptocurrency. Users are not able to access and withdraw the funds deposited at their addresses – that is, in their e-wallets – until they provide a unique private key.
17. Around 15% of IT professionals have invested in cryptocurrency, which makes them the largest group of investors.
Students, the unemployed, and retirees also constitute a significant portion of crypto investors. More than 80% of cryptocurrency investors are novices; only 7.38% say they had previous experience in investing.
18. Blockchain investment was up by 280% in the first three quarters of 2018 when compared to the whole 2017.
According to one report, blockchain and crypto startups raised $3.9 billion through venture capital investments before the beginning of Q4 2018. The average size of blockchain investments has increased by more than $1 million during 2018.
19. According to blockchain predictions by Brock Pierce, an American entrepreneur with rich experience in digital currencies, the future of blockchain growth will be pushed by dAPPS, STOs, and the gaming industry.
Pierce, co-founder of the EOS cryptocurrency platform, says that significant decentralized apps will hit millions of users in the near future. Another significant aspect of further blockchain growth will be security token offerings, which work in a more regulated manner than ICOs. The former EOS blockchain chief strategy officer predicts the tokenization of fiat money, the debt market, real estate, equities, and even art is just around the corner. The gaming industry will be a major driver of blockchain adoption as well, since gamers were among the earliest crypto adopters.
20. Chinese manufacturer Lenovo introduced a mobile device that features “Z-space”, a blockchain-based payment system. HTC has also launched its own blockchain-focused phone.
(Asia Times, CNBC, Statista)
It seems that mobile blockchain is on its way. Statistics show that the number of mobile phone users will hit 5 billion in 2019, which is a huge, attractive market for blockchain innovators.
21. Key issues that need to be solved before blockchain becomes a mainstream technology are performance speed, interoperability, costs, regulations, and collaboration.
(CNBC, Deloitte, ICOService)
Issue #1: In numerous blockchain usage scenarios, performance issues must be addressed before widespread application deployment. While traditional systems are able to process thousands of transactions per second, the BTC blockchain can handle up to seven transactions per second. The Ethereum network is able to process 15 per second.
Issue #2: The blockchain industry is expanding rapidly, but still there is no standard that will allow different networks to cooperate with each other.
Issue #3: Reducing costs are one of the challenges of blockchain. Statistics from Elite Fixtures suggest that it costs more than $26,000 to mine just one bitcoin in South Korea.
Issue #4: Existing regulations around the world do not cover some of the main components of blockchain technology, such as smart contracts and international transactions. This uncertainty can slow down investments in technology and adoption of solutions.
Issue #5: Deloitte’s report about the state of blockchain in 2018 suggests that blockchain companies need to collaborate so technology can promote further development of applications, education, and standardization.
22. IBM has about 1,500 employees working on more than 500 blockchain projects.
The industries in which IBM implements the technology are shipping, banking, healthcare, and food safety.
For example, IBM’s intelligent logistics platform RoadLaunch integrates Internet of Things technology, Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger blockchain, and AI. Statistics and other data sets, automation, finance transactions, freight and fleet visibility, and all other logistics aspects will be covered by a single platform and revolutionize the way logistics and transportation companies operate.
23. U.S. spending on blockchain-based products and services is expected to reach $41 billion by 2025.
Blockchain spending in the United States increased by 110% during 2018. The compound annual growth rate for blockchain spending is forecast to be 44.5%.
24. It is expected that blockchain-based projects will add more than $360 billion of value to businesses by 2026.
Gartner predicts that the projects’ value will surge to over $3.1 trillion by 2030, when blockchain has become a mainstream technology.
25. New Kids on the Blockchain: 44% of gamers have either purchased or traded game items using blockchain tech.
The blockchain-powered gaming marketplace has some serious advantages over traditional solutions.
Gaming on the blockchain vs. traditional gaming marketplaces. (Gartner)
|Blockchain marketplaces||Traditional marketplaces|
|Games which support virtual items trading||Indefinite||3 games|
|Virtual item's unique history||Yes||No|
|Third party involvement||No||Yes|
|Virtual items creation||Yes||No|
Thanks to decentralized ledger technology, users around the world can buy, exchange, and even create and sell gaming items, which will surely change the gaming industry as we know it.
26. Some of the world’s largest banks are investing about $50 billion to build a blockchain-based digital cash settlement system.
According to a Reuters report, the banks include UBS, Banco Santander, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, State Street Corp, Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings Plc, and Deutsche Bank AG.
The system is called Fnality and it aims to improve efficiency of clearing and settlement in financial market. Fnality could launch in 2020.
27. It is expected that global healthcare-market spending on blockchain will hit $5.61 billion by 2025.
When it comes to data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations, personnel, and reductions in fraud or counterfeit products, the adoption of blockchain could save the healthcare industry up to $150 billion.
Blockchain has the potential to make the drug supply chain more efficient, improve data accuracy and management, find the most appropriate professionals more quickly, and help providers stay on top of compliance and government regulations.
28. Only 0.71% of the world’s population (50 million people) use blockchain technology.
Researchers agree that the technology will not reach mainstream adoption for at least five years. However, investing in blockchain represents a smart step in the long term.
29. The most infamous (and largest) blockchain hack happened at the Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange.
The attack occurred in 2014, when Mt. Gox was handling about 70% of the world’s Bitcoin exchanges. Soon after that, Mt. Gox ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy. More than 750,000 BTCs (around $350 million) were stolen from the exchange.