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Ignore Decentralization & Tokenization and You May Miss USD 3Tn Market

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Businesses that ignore decentralization and tokenization risk to miss a USD 3 trillion market, finds the major research and advisory company Gartner.

Source: iStock/DGLimages

The blockchain-related industry to generate USD 3.1 trillion in new business value worldwide by 2030, but half of it will be generated already by 2025, with applications designed for operational improvement, according to Gartner. That being said, there is a high chance of businesses being too confident in their current capabilities to seize the opportunity before them. To be precise, it’s possible for organizations to “make missteps” that will prevent them from fully capitalizing on blockchain, “under competitive threat by using the wrong strategy and being lulled into a false sense of progress and capability,” warns the company.

“The evolution of blockchain cannot be ignored,” said David Furlonger, research vice-president and Gartner Fellow. “Blockchain-complete solutions will begin to gain traction in about three years. Only slightly further out lies a future business and societal environment that includes IoT [Internet of Things] and AI [Artificial Intelligence] in which autonomous and intelligent things own assets and trade value.” Those businesses that do not experiment with blockchain, do not do scenario planning, and “delay consideration of the two fundamental blockchain components, decentralization and tokenization, risk being unable to adapt when blockchain matures.”

Speaking of “the real business of blockchain,” Furlonger explained that fully mature blockchain complete solutions will bring organizations operational improvements, increased efficiency, ability to re-engineer business relationships, monetize illiquid assets and redistribute data and value flows, which will further enable them “to more successfully engage with the digital world.”

Presenting the new book written by Furlonger and research vice president at Gartner Christophe Uzureau, “The Real Business of Blockchain: How Leaders Can Create Value in a New Digital Age,” at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Barcelona, Spain, Furlonger shared several of their major findings included in the volume and on their website, discussing the evolution of blockchain between its state today and that in 2030. To be able to see this evolution, but also how blockchain’s path aligns to the anticipated value that businesses can derive, the authors used the Blockchain Spectrum created by Gartner.

David Furlonger. Source: Gartner

They’ve concluded that there are four phases to speak of:

  1. 2009-2020: Blockchain-enabling technologies provide the foundation upon which existing future blockchain solutions can be created and business modelled, while the foundational technologies can be used as part of nonblockchain solutions as well.
  2. 2016-2023: Blockchain-inspired solutions in financial services (the experimentation of which began in 2012 and will last till early 2020s) leverage the foundational technologies but use only three of the five elements of blockchain (distribution, encryption and immutability), and they often aim to reengineer existing processes specific to an individual organization or industry while maintaining centralized controls.
  3. 2020s: Blockchain-complete solutions deliver the full value proposition of blockchain; they use all five elements (distribution, encryption, immutability, tokenization and decentralization); they enable trade in new forms of value (e.g. new asset types) and unlock monopolies on existing forms of value ad processes (e.g. digital commerce or digital advertising); some of the startups that are providing blockchain-native solutions “will gain market momentum by the early 2020s, with more scale apparent after 2025,” Furlonger said, adding: “Though not immediate, the proliferation of blockchain-complete solutions will push organizations to explore new ways of operating with greater degrees of decentralization than they have now.”
  4. Post-2025: complementary technologies (e.g. IoT, AI and decentralized self-sovereign identity (SSI) solutions) will converge and become more integrated with blockchain networks, which will lead to the expansion of the types of customer and the value that can be tokenized and exchanged, enabling “a large number of smaller transactions to occur that would not be possible with traditional mechanisms,” according to Gartner.

Meanwhile, as reported, in the light of a separate report by Gartner, which claims it’ll take another five to ten years to see the transformational impact of blockchains, the company’s Senior Director Analyst, Fabio Chesini, said recently that the pattern we are now witnessing with blockchain is similar to that of the Internet’s development.

Also, software and hardware crypto wallets are about to enter the ‘Trough of Disillusionment,’ but the future seems bright, as it will bring a better alternative to private keys, according to the company.