Blockchain technology was launched over a decade ago, as an underlying platform for Bitcoin. Since then, the innovative tech has gone on to become one of the most talked about technologies of modern times.
Today, blockchain is present in almost every sector and every region of the world. Right from Asia to the Americas, Europe to Africa, it is everywhere, and in everything. The blockchain is growing strongly in major sectors like healthcare, banking and finance, digital assets, and also in several government departments. The sheer potential that the distributed ledger technology has pulled a number of multinational companies in the space, including IBM, Microsoft, HSBC, and Facebook.
However, even with the emergence of such big names, blockchain still receives much less investments than other modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). As per a new report by HardFork, high profile companies continue to show more interest in AI and IoT, than blockchain. The report states that the blockchain sector is receiving investments from about 61% of total digital companies across the globe.
The “Digital Enterprise Report” by HardFork is an unprecedented compilation. The San Francisco based company conducted a survey of 1,050 IT, engineering, and security firms worldwide. The report also takes inputs from an earlier report published by identity firm Okta. HardFork conducted the survey between January and February 2019. The main motto behind the survey was to provide an insight into the surveyed companies’ use of blockchain technology.
These companies were carefully chosen. The Okta report included only those companies who were valued at or over $1 billion, along with a significant investment portfolio. Upon research, it was found that a big majority of decision makers continue to prefer more to invest in IoT and AI, more than Blockchain. The two innovative techs receive investments for 72%, for IoT, and 68% for AI.
Even after years of development and research, blockchain still requires huge investments to make new breakthroughs and create newer solutions. For this, it requires money, or investments, which are not at all at par with AI and IoT. The blockchain space will continue to grow and expand, as many experts believe the tech to cover almost half of the global economy in the next 10-20 years.
The biggest need of the hour for blockchain is mass adoption, which it hasn’t been able to achieve convincingly. Use of AI in primary devices like smartphones has given a great boost to the AI space. Also, companies seem to be investing more money in AI. Similarly, IoT is growing rapidly, with the growing popularity of smart homes and smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa. This large scale adoption gives the two technologies an edge over blockchain.
However, things seem to be changing soon, as the tables can be turned again. Giant platforms like VISA and Facebook are integrating blockchain with their operations. Also, adoption in forex transactions will further pull up the demand for innovation. For instance, HSBC executed forex transactions worth over $250 billion in 2018 alone.
Moreover, AI and IoT are much older technologies than blockchain, which makes it look like a kid, though with a lot of promise. What this means that is AI and IoT are much common terms than blockchain. According to a survey conducted in Europe earlier this year, less than 5% of respondents know about blockchain. Most of these 5% people have only heard of Bitcoins, and nothing else related to blockchain technology.
In 2018, as crypto markets kept tumbling, venture capital firms shift their focus on blockchain space. This saw the blockchain market receive over $5 billion, which was considerably more than the $1.5 billion invested in 2017.