Blockchain technology is an enabler of what has been dubbed the fourth industrial revolution – the Internet of Value. The decentralized, immutable, and provably fair nature of Blockchain technology is pushing the limits of disruption across a wide variety of industries, markets, and economies.
It is no longer news that Blockchain made its first debut in the financial scene with the arrival of Bitcoin, and since then, the world has seen many interesting ideas on practical applications of Blockchain technology.
However, beyond the initial scepticism, outright criticism, and now, curious examinations of cryptocurrencies – we are still a long way off from the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology. One of the key factors delaying the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology is the lack of universally accepted primary use-case of its applications.
Cryptocurrencies are becoming popular, but no-one know if Bitcoin is a means of exchange or store of value. Beyond cryptocurrencies, most of the other applications are ideas, proof of concepts, or pilot programs.
Secondly, the complexity of many of the Blockchain projects in the market right now has confined their usage to nerds, crypto enthusiasts, and hobbyists. In fact, most of the popular blockchain projects gained their fame because of the speculations around the value of their tokens and not necessarily because of the underlying solutions behind the tokens.
Hence, many of the potentially interesting blockchain projects that lacked speculative appeal are only getting interest from a small community of the founders, academics, and blockchain enthusiasts.
Thirdly, many blockchains are still struggling to deliver processing and transaction speeds on par with or better than what the traditional systems offer. People don’t care about a blockchain, they only want to see what makes it better than legacy systems. However, with bitcoin processing 7 transactions per second, Ethereum processing 23 transactions per second, in contrast to the 20,000 TP/S from VISA, the mass-market is still opting for the familiar.
Blockchain protocols changing the narrative for mass-market adoption
Ethereum probably has better odds of unlocking the mass market adoption of cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin. Ethereum broke into the limelight because of its ability to power smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that could run without a direct input from any of the counterparties once the predefined parameters are triggered.
Many high-profile Fortune 500 companies, technology vendors, Ethereum developers, and academics have registered members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which is a global standards organization to delivering an open, standards-based architecture and specification to accelerate the adoption of Enterprise Ethereum.
The market should soon begin to see real-world Ethereum powered blockchain applications as the EEA members such as Accenture, BP, CME Group, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Microsoft continue to collaborate on standards for the industry.
ASQ Protocol wants to leverage the reach of social networks to drive the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology. With ASQ Protocol social networks could transition into decentralized content ecosystems where creators could be reward for their content under open and transparent rules.
More so, the protocol could ensure that social network users get access to the depth and breadth of available content without censor algorithms determining the kind of content that they see. Interestingly, ASQ protocol is making its debut with two ecosystem partners namely ASKfm and NING.
ASKfm is the world’s largest question and answer website where people could anonymously ask questions and get community rated answers. Askfm has more than 215 million registered users with more than 100 million app installs across the world and it is transitioning into the first incentivized, decentralized Q&A social network.
NING is working on becoming a blockchain powers SaaS platform for creating community websites. NING is currently being used for more than 2 million communities with more than 45 million registered users in different parts of the world.
Chain is an interesting blockchain protocol that could unleash the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology. Chain is particularly concerned with partnering with organizations to build, deploy, and operate blockchain networks through its open source Chain Protocol behind the Chain Core platform.
Chain has proven its usability for building blockchain applications across a wide variety of financial services including but not limited to derivatives, securities, gift cards, loyalty points, and currencies among others. The fact that Chain also has strategic partnerships with the likes of Citigroup, NASDAQ, VISA, Orange, and Capital One suggests that it won’t face much antagonism from the legacy systems it seeks to displace.
IOTA technically doesn’t have a Blockchain in the traditional sense of the word; rather, it uses a blockless distributed leger called Tangle. IOTA is building a protocol that will facilitate the machine-to-machine economy by connecting IoT devices, allowing the trading of resources in real time, and by facilitating nano-payments without charging additional fees.
If IOTA succeeds in building a “blockchain” powered IoT economy, the world will be significantly closer to witnessing the mass-market adoption of Blockchain technology. For one, as at 2017, there were about 8.4 billion connected devices in the world and researchers t Gartner has projected that there would be 20.4 billion IoT devices in the world by 2020.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed article and should not be taken as investment advice