When 72-year-old, family-controlled Fidelity, known for its disciplined and traditional management of retirement plans and mutual funds announced it was spending billions of dollars to ensure its competitive stance in a Blockchain world, it was apparent that the ledger technology that brought the world Bitcoin would have a future well beyond its digital currency roots.
Fidelity wants to stay competitive with Charles Schwab, Well Fargo, JPMorgan and Chase, and many other financial giants who have already invested in the technology.
Whether you like it, understand it, or trust it, Blockchain technology already has laid the blueprint for a new economy, a new business and industry landscape, a new world for how you monitor your healthcare. It’s a transformational technology that will follow you from your home to work, to the grocery store, to your next vacation and beyond.
IT’S HERE. ARE YOU PREPARED?
And, as we forecast two years ago in Trends Journal, by the end of this decade, Blockchain technology will alter how you protect personal data, make healthcare decisions, manage investments, make purchases large and small, operate your business, vote and even help decide if food is fresh and where it comes from.
Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age and die. The Blockchain trend has just been born, and throughout society, from young to old, many are still unfamiliar with this trend, what it means and where it’s going.
Blockchain technology over just the next few years will replace and dominate a number of current transactional systems used in just about every industry.
Trust in the technology is growing across myriad fields because Blockchain encrypts data, thus preventing the record of transactions from being hacked or altered.
Indeed, the same technology behind cryptocurrency is being embraced by the biggest banks and financial institutions, insurance giants, new technology companies, major industries and an increasing number of governments worldwide.
In fact, Japan recently became the first major economy to launch a domestic payment transfer system dependent on Blockchain technology. Three major Japanese banks will start offering customers free money transfers via a new mobile Blockchain-based app in what the government says will constitute a major step to reduce the use of cash.
Here are some other examples of how Blockchain is transforming a variety of industries:
• Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is investing millions in exploring how Blockchain technology can benefit the social media giant, whose two billion worldwide users personify a centralized, and not a decentralized, model of data collection like Blockchain. Facebook has been under fire for not protecting its users’ data. Blockchain, built on the foundation of encrypted, protected data, provides an unprecedented framework to preserve privacy.
• Healthcare companies across the globe are looking at Blockchains to ensure the security of personal information. Across Europe, Canada and the United States, where regionalized healthcare groups are rapidly expanding, the ability to securely share sensitive health information across networks is crucial.
• Amazon’s Web Services program for the Cloud, Microsoft’s Azure for the Cloud, and young companies such as Factom and Bitfury offer Blockchains to ensure the integrity of everything from loan documentation to your vote.
• Wien Energie, an Austrian energy provider, uses the technology to trade electricity among utilities. In fact, in a trend we alerted our subscribers to three years ago, a growing number of solar and new-energy power companies use the technology to buy energy.
• Foxconn, the Chinese giant that assembles Apple’s and other companies’ electronic items, has been testing a family of blockchains to manage the flow of materials, products and payments along its supply and delivery paths. It’s not just about security, but also about speeding payments and avoiding middlemen and their fees.
Blockchains have moved well beyond registering and trading digital coins. The technology eliminates the need for third-party guarantors, such as banks or auditors, to ensure the integrity of transaction records. And that means virtually any type of transaction requiring a record, from filing a loan application to casting a vote, can be secured in a Blockchain. TJ
Blockchain technology is being aggressively embraced by the biggest banks, financial institutions, insurance giants, major industries and an increasing number of governments worldwide. And more and more social, business, academic and industrial sectors are realizing how secure and adaptable the technology is, and will be.
In fact, worldwide investment by venture capitalists, who poured $964 million into Blockchain or cryptocurrency-related startups in 2017, are expected to exceed $1.7 billion into crypto development by the end of 2018.