In a report titled “Blockchain Now and Tomorrow: Assessing Multidimensional Impacts of Distributed Ledger Technologies”, the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides an in-depth and practical understanding of blockchain and its possible applications in finance, industry, trade and public sectors.

According to the report, blockchain is one of the technologies which is anticipated to have a profound impact over the next 10 to 15 years. The rise of blockchain is witnessed particularly by the sharp growth in blockchain startups and the volume of their funding. 2017 in particular saw a surge in blockchain funding, driven by the explosion of initial coin offerings (ICOs) venture capital investments. The trend continued at a high level in 2018.

A global ecosystem is on the rise, from start-ups to capital investment

JRC report: “We can see the rise of blockchain technology both in the sharp growth in blockchain start-ups and by the volume of their funding. International players in the United States are taking the lead, followed by China and the European Union. Funding reached over EUR 7.4 billion in 2018 due to the explosion of venture capital investments and Initial Coin Offerings.” Globally, the US and China are leading in terms of blockchain startups, but Switzerland and Singapore are also displaying particular dynamism, followed by Japan and South Korea, the report says. In Europe, it is the UK that’s emerged as the top blockchain location, leading the region in terms of numbers of blockchain startups (hosting almost half of them) and in funding (attracting about 70% of EU investments).

There is space beyond cryptocurrencies and financial applications

Cryptocurrencies and digital tokens have been capturing most of the attention when it comes to blockchain’s applications. But it also has potential in many other sectors, such as trade and supply chains, manufacturing, energy, creative industries, healthcare, and government, public and third sectors. Some features of blockchain technology that can be applied in these sectors include:

– What is recorded on a blockchain stays as a single record, agreed and shared by all. A manufacturer can make a “digital twin” of a product on a blockchain to record its full history. This enables the tracking and tracing of how a product is built, stored, inspected and transported throughout its whole value chain. It can provide proof of ownership rights, helping to prevent unauthorised use, theft and infringements.

– Blockchain enables smart contracts that could help to manage supply-and-demand flows of available energy. Working together with other technologies, like smart meters or sensors, smart contracts could automatically check prices and execute buy and sell orders. For a local producer of renewable energy, this could mean that they can trade energy with others in their communities more quickly and effectively. In the future this could support the development of peer-to-peer and energy communities.

– It can be easy for everyone to check available data on a blockchain in a secure and transparent way. When checking public benefits like pension rights, a citizen could access their complete funds and contributions along his or her life. A tax authority could also have access to this information for every citizen, which can reduce processing time and administrative costs for all involved.

Integration with digitisation initiatives and programmes 

Blockchains will be complementary or will work together with other key digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the ‘internet of things’, data analytics, cloud computing, robotics and additive manufacturing. The development of blockchain should be connected to existing digitisation initiatives and programmes to avoid overlaps and to maximise impact.

Blockchain does not follow a “one-size-fits-all” model

The potential opportunities and challenges of deploying blockchain technology are strongly related to context, application or sectorial issues. That is why organisations should not develop solutions looking for problems, but find existing or foreseeable problems in their operations or business, and then look for possible blockchain solutions. 

Modex BCDB, the right solution for enterprises

Modex BCDB is a new take on blockchain technology which removes the need to invest resources in blockchain training and facilitates fast adoption of the technology in businesses. The solution proposed by Modex is a middleware that fuses a blockchain with a database to create a structure which is easy to use and understand by developers with no prior knowledge in blockchain development. As a result, any developer who knows to work with a database system can operate with our solution, without needing to change their programming style or learn blockchain. Through our blockchain component, Modex BCDB is able to transform with minimal changes any type of database into a decentralized database which holds the same valuable characteristics inherent to blockchain technology: transparency, increased security, data immutability, and integrity.

Modex BCDB doesn’t work by deleting the existing database or data entries. The database is maintained intact throughout the process, data integrity is ensured by calculating the metadata of the records and storing it on the blockchain. The system does not restrict access to the blockchain or to the database, so when a developer needs to make a reporting or ETL transformations, they can perform warehouse analytics by accessing the database directly. This is because Modex BCDB has been purposely designed to be agnostic. With our solution, clients are able to set up a network, regardless of the type of database employed. In a consortium, each company can maintain what type of database they prefer and connect them through a blockchain-powered network to ensure cohesion while protecting corporate interests.

About Modex

Modex, the blockchain database company, is promoting the adoption of blockchain technology and strongly believes in a future built around blockchain. Modex offers fully integrated services designed to solve the last mile adoption problem of the blockchain and aims to make blockchain user-friendly for every single device or person. At Modex, we can innovate thanks to our incredible team of experts and we offer services for the entire blockchain technology ecosystem: Marketplace for Smart Contracts, community tools for developers and blockchain as database services for enterprises. 

In over two years, using cutting-edge technologies and with a clear strategy, Modex has evolved from the world’s first app store for blockchain into a complex ecosystem designed for developers’ needs and enterprises looking for blockchain solutions. Our mission is to spread and facilitate the adoption of blockchain into society and to solve real-world problems using this revolutionary technology.