The blockchain has become something of a buzzword over the past year or so, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable solution for many businesses. In fact, one expert believes the made-famous-by-Bitcoin technology will be used by upwards of 60 percent of companies.
This projection comes from Oracle’s group vice president of blockchain product development, Frank Xiong, who told Forbes CIO Summit that he predicts “between 50% and 60% of companies will use blockchain in the next few years.”
Xiong knows what he’s talking about, too, since Oracle has more than 100 customers using its blockchain platform for the purpose of tracking items.
That said, the company vice president is also realistic in his assessment of the technology when he notes that it really isn’t the be-all-end-all solution for business. “We’re past the stage that blockchain can cure everything,” he told the American business magazine, “so people are becoming more realistic about what’s good for their business model.”
BLOCKCHAIN: NOT FOR EVERYONE
Samsung SDS vice president in blockchain, Ted Kim, agrees that the nascent-but-growing technology isn’t for everyone. He told Forbes:
At the end of the day blockchain makes multipart collaboration more efficient, whether it’s having a consortium to track data on counterfeit getting into supply chains, or how much inventory you need to create a better forecast. There is tangible ROI in the blockchain.
Kim’s bullishness on the future of blockchain is more reigned in than Xiong’s. The former expects 20 percent of companies to use blockchain technology in three years.
KEEPING THE STATUS QUO
Of course, the possibility exists that decentralized blockchain technology will essentially just get co-opted by centralized companies, and the promise of freedom will be forgotten. Noted Bext360 CEO Daniel Jones:
People are predicting that the blockchain will allow people to be decentralized, that everyone will have distributed trusted networks. I don’t think that’s possible—I think what we’re going to see is companies vertically integrating, the Amazons of the world are going to continue to vertically integrate to the farm level.