You’ve heard of the surging alternate currency, but that’s just a peek at what the underlying technology will enable in the next year.
The word “bitcoin” was a top search on Google this year, as everyone who didn’t understand the cryptocurrency (which was most of us) rushed to learn how it works and how they could make money off of it. Some people did make money, at least on paper. The price of one coin surged from less than $1,000 on January 1, 2017 to more than $18,000 by mid-December (as we write this).
But bitcoin’s value jump was probably not the most important event in crypto this year. It was the decentralized ledger technology that tracks bitcoin transactions–known as a blockchain–that really promised to shake up the world. This year, developers came up with hundreds of new use-cases for blockchains, and 2018 is likely to see a lot more exciting activity.
“As [blockchain] has joined the mainstream, it’s piqued the interest of millions of new people,” says Ben Siegel, impact policy manager at ConsenSys, an Ethereum development studio in Brooklyn. “We’re going to see a massive new influx of talent and brains into the space and that’s going to blow the roof off. We’ll see new ideas popping up all over the place.”
Here are a few ways blockchains could revolutionize 2018…