Blockchain in 2018: A Year in Review (plus, CryptoKitties!)

Hats off, 2018 was a banner year for blockchain!

Smoother access to capital

The financial sector has seen the majority of blockchain activity in 2018, in the form of payment and money transfers. These transactions tend to cost less, help to eliminate fraud and increase overall transparency. Charities and non-profits alike have been the recipients of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency donations from some of the early investors who amassed significant wealth through early currencies, like Bitcoin. In fact, one charity received $69 million of cryptocurrency donations, which increased significantly from the previous year. The benefit is clear: blockchain facilitates a faster, more secure avenue to capital – especially for philanthropy.

Crypto, you kinda gave blockchain a bad name

It’s common to associate cryptocurrency and blockchain together, especially considering the negative year cryptocurrencies have suffered. The technology is interdependent, but it’s important to remember they are not interchangeable. While crypto took a bath in 2018, blockchain has been tainted with the negative perception surrounding cryptocurrencies. For that, blockchain technology may need to work on its image in early 2019.

From abstract to application

Major tech players have been pouring resources into blockchain in 2018; with IBM investing over $200 million and allocating 1000 employees. While these investments are massive and signify a new direction for technology, blockchain has just begun to take form in a meaningful consumer-centric way.

An example is CryptoKitties, one of the world’s first blockchain games. This game allows users to collect and breed digital cats, which may sound simple for an Ethereum-based game, but it’s symbolic. The success of CryptoKitties represents a shift in the future of consumer blockchain for everyday people. Similar to the early days of the internet, we were unaware of how to extract value from the world wide web until tech visionaries like Jeff Bezos delivered books to our doorstep. CryptoKitties represents the ‘Jeff Bezos-ification’ of blockchain and for that, 2018 has been a rousing success for the technology.

Upward and onward into 2019!

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