According to a report from PwC, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain, drones, internet of things, robots, virtual reality and 3D printing are the eight emerging technologies that today's businesses need to familiarize themselves with. Of the eight, there is one technology that has many fashion insiders furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand it, and that technology is blockchain. Devised in 2008 and executed in 2009, blockchain is a term that falls fast from the lips of many who still misunderstand it. For those who are yet to become intimate with the term, the first thing you should know is that blockchain is the primary technology behind the tech buzzword of 2013, bitcoin. Defined by Blockchaintechnologies.com as a type of distributed ledger, comprised of unchangable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks, they explain blockchain further by stating that, "These digitally recorded'blocks' of data are stored in a linear chain.
Blockchain technology was first released to the public almost a decade ago, but it's only entered the public consciousness in earnest within the last year or so. With that heightened awareness has come an increased dialogue about blockchain's applications in the fashion industry, and the ethical fashion community in particular has taken notice. Everyone from sustainability podcaster Kestrel Jenkins to the Business of Fashion have delved into what the emerging technology could offer fair fashion advocates. And yet, if you ask the average fashion person -- even a smart, well-read, ethics-concerned one! With that in mind, we decided to dive in, talk to some experts and see if we could reduce blockchain, and the opportunity it offers in the realm of ethical fashion, to the most understandable terms possible.
"Blockchain technology continues to redefine not only how the exchange sector operates, but the global financial economy as a whole." "In financial markets there's always a mechanism to correct an attack. In a blockchain there is no mechanism to correct it -- people have to accept it."- "Blockchain technology has the ability to optimize the global infrastructure to deal with global issues in this space much more efficiently than current systems." Everyone is talking about blockchain, the new technology in the FinTech Industry. The concept of blockchain has energized the financial services industry globally. The concept has already brought a disruption in the financial industry. LTP brings to you the overview, technology, application areas and use cases of blockchain. A blockchain is a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. A block is the "current" part of a blockchain which records some or all of the recent transactions, and once completed, goes into the blockchain as permanent database. Each time a block gets completed, a new block is generated. Blocks are linked to each other (like a chain) in proper linear, chronological order with every block containing a hash of the previous block. To use conventional banking as an analogy, the blockchain is like a full history of banking transactions.
Blockchains are one of the most important technologies to emerge in recent years, with many experts believing they will change our world in the next two decades as much as the internet has over the last two. You can read this executive guide as a PDF (free registration required). Although it is early in its development, firms pursuing blockchain technology include IBM, Microsoft, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Nasdaq, Foxconn, Visa, and shipping giant Maersk. Venture capitalists have so far poured $1.5 billion into the space, with storied firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Khosla Ventures making bets on startups. The applications for blockchain technology seem endless.
Banking isn't the only industry that could be affected by blockchain tech. Law enforcement, ride-hailing, and many other sectors could also have blockchain in their future. What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology -- essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions -- is now spreading across a wave of industries. Blockchain tech has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: In 2019, businesses are expected to spend $2.9B on the technology, up almost 90% from 2018, according to IDC. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are starting to see blockchain applications. Bitcoin's popularity helped demonstrate blockchain's application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe blockchain could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless -- especially since blockchain operates through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making it resistant to fraud. Download the free report to learn about the biggest emerging trends in blockchain and strategies to watch for 2019. As companies use blockchain to drive greater transparency and veracity across the digital information ecosystem, they're boosting awareness of the technology in sectors ranging from infrastructure to public policy. Here are the latest innovative ways companies are harnessing the power of global blockchain. Banking is just the beginning. From a macro perspective, banks serve as the critical storehouses and transfer hubs of value. As a digitized, secure, and tamper-proof ledger, blockchain could serve the same function, injecting enhanced accuracy and information-sharing into the financial services ecosystem. Swiss bank UBS and UK-based Barclays are both experimenting with blockchain as a way to expedite back office functions and settlement, which some in the banking industry say could cut up to $20B in middleman costs. In May 2019, Barclays invested in Crowdz, a blockchain-based B2B payments startup that helps companies collect payments and automate digital invoices. Blockchain is also growing as a solution aimed at reducing the cost of cross-border transactions, which accounted for 27% of global transaction revenue in 2017, according to McKinsey. Blockchain company Ripple has partnered with financial institutions like Santander and Western Union with the goal of improving the efficiency of cross-border transactions. Blockchain startup BanQu is working with AB InBev to facilitate payments to cassava farmers in Zambia.