WHEN you think of blockchains, you think they're only making headway in the fintech and financial services space. Many companies in other sectors are also exploring how to make the most of blockchains in their business. The fact that the technology provides transparency and makes tampering with records significantly harder than conventional recordkeeping makes it of interest to manufacturers, retailers, and supply chain operators too. According to a recent forecast by IDC, spending on blockchain solutions is set to reach US$2.1 billion in 2022. In fact, the company's analysts expect blockchain spending to grow rapidly over the forecast period 2017-22, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72.6 percent.
The cyberattacker believed to be responsible for a 51 percent on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain has returned $100,000 in stolen proceeds, while keeping roughly $1 million. According to Gate.io, the funds were returned last week but it is not known why the cryptocurrency has been returned, or for what purpose -- and efforts to contact the hacker have proved fruitless so far. "We still don't know the reason," the cryptocurrency exchange said. "If the attacker didn't run it for profit, he might be a white hacker who wanted to remind people the risks in blockchain consensus and hashing power security." This is a possibility, but even so, the potential'white hat' has still kept a fortune in cryptocurrency for themselves following the attack.
Blockchain Capital partner Spencer Bogart compared Bitcoin (BTC) to a "tinderbox" July 26, telling CNBC prices could grow further due to multiple "catalysts." Speaking to CNBC's Fast Money, Bogart, who is regular commentator on the network and on cryptocurrency social media, adopted a notably bullish tone compared to just weeks ago when Bitcoin was trading around $6,000. "Any number of catalysts could send bitcoin exploding higher," he forecast, adding: "Bitcoin is kind of a tinderbox right now, waiting for reasons to go higher." Bogart's increasing optimism adds to a popular narrative in the cryptocurrency industry that has grown out of Bitcoin's sudden price increase of over 33 percent this month, the majority of which occurred over the past ten days. At press time Thursday, BTC/USD traded around $8,233 according to Cointelegraph's price index.
The market value of publicly traded blockchain companies--once poised for sky high growth--plummeted 56 percent in 2018, right around the same time that cryptocurrencies took their well-documented hit. As these companies slowly recover in 2019, many are trying to understand what the future holds for the fledgling industry. Does the underlying technology and its many applications have true staying power or is blockchain simply a fad that will eventually fade away? To answer this question, the Boston Consulting Group partnered with Quid on a new report, Decoding the Slowdown in Blockchain Startups, which examines the reasons for the 2018 drop in blockchain investment, startup acquisition, value, and overall entrepreneurial enthusiasm. The team analyzed 5 different datasets, including company descriptions, news, patents, academic literature, and job posts to get full visibility on the industry in the lead up to the decline.
IBM has a new blockchain partner to leverage the vast amount of data in current supply chains and transform it into operational efficiency. Supply chains have excelled at gathering this data to improve efficiencies in trade. However, increases in data have not been paired with an increase in trust. Data is kept within an organization, unable to benefit partners across a supply chain. According to the World Economic Forum's report Enabling Trade: Valuing Growth Opportunities, reducing barriers within the international supply chain could increase worldwide GDP by almost 5 percent and total trade volume by 15 percent.